The Brewers made a move last week to put Scooter Gennett in the leadoff spot and, while it doesn’t drastically help his fantasy stock, it does make him a bit more appealing.
Gennett is much similar to Tommy La Stella, who is getting a lot of love of late as a high contact, low power, low speed guy. One of La Stella’s drawbacks is that he hits at the bottom of the order, and it’d be tough for the Braves to move him to the top part since their leadoff and third hitters are also left-handed hitters.
Gennett is one of the few lefties in the Brewer lineup, but the Brewers wanted more productivity out of Gennett and Ron Roenicke has stressed more patience with him while batting leadoff, specifically with the first pitch. He is batting just .278 on the first pitch against his average for the year of .296, so more patience in that spot is a positive.
In an extremely small sample he has hit well in the leadoff spot so he should be getting building a bit of leeway batting first. If he can stay in the leadoff spot, he should certainly see a nice uptick in his run total and also start to steal a bit more bases. He’s four of six so far this year and has never exactly been a speed demon in the minors, but he has reached double digit totals every season in the minors. I don’t expect him to light the world on fire in that regard, but getting to 15 if he is in the leadoff spot all year – albeit in a platoon – is attainable.
But again, the real attractive part of this is that he will bat in front of some real heavy hitters. Batting directly in front of Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy, and Carlos Gomez makes any player an attractive asset, nonetheless one that plays a weaker offensive position and bats close to .300. You can’t expect a ton of power or speed from Gennett, but you can get excellent production in the average and run departments while getting small contributions from power and speed.
I own Gennett in a weekly dynasty league which is not a tremendously attractive league to own him in, although he has certainly been valuable to me. Where he is most valuable in is daily leagues in which you can put him in against only right-handed pitchers. As he is owned in just 7% of Yahoo! leagues, he’s a guy worth considering if you are struggling in batting average or with your middle infield.
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