|Utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. joined the Brewers, his eighth organization in the past eight years, in a deadline deal that sent Double-A outfielder Erik Komatsu to the Nationals.
Used by Washington primarily as an injury fill-in at third base for Ryan Zimmerman, Hairston also has played left field, center field, second base and shortstop this season. The 35-year-old accrued extensive middle-infield experience in both 2009 (54 games for the Reds and Yankees) and 2010 (109 games for the Padres), and that’s the role in which Milwaukee will deploy him after losing starting second baseman Rickie Weeks to a freak ankle injury.
In another move to bolster its depth, Milwaukee acquired 31-year-old second baseman Felipe Lopez from the Rays for cash considerations on July 28.
|Erik Komatsu, cf/rf
Age: 23. Position: CF (50 G), RF (38 G).
Born: Oct. 1, 1987 in Camarillo, Calif.
Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 175. Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Cal State Fullerton.
Career Transactions: Selected by Brewers in eighth round of 2008 draft; signed June 16, 2008.
Komatsu’s best attribute is his plate discipline, which is among the best in the minors. He’s collected more walks than strikeouts this year,
showing the ability to work deep counts and lay off pitches outside the zone. His quick, line-drive swing and advanced approach at the plate help him hit for a high average and get on base at a strong clip. He ranks fifth in the Southern League in walks (53) and on-base percentage (.393).
The questions for Komatsu are the typical tweener profile issues: Will his defense be enough for center field, and will he have enough power for a corner outfield spot? His speed is a tick above-average and he gets good jumps off the bat, but he doesn’t have the pure range to stack
up against most regular big league center fielders. At 5-foot-10, Komatsu has below-average power, a difficult tool to live with from a corner outfielder and a reason why his OBP could take a tumble as more advanced pitchers attack him with greater aggression. Still, the Nationals did well to turn Hairston into a player with some on-base skills who will almost certainly be a big leaguer in some capacity, though his ultimate role might be as a solid backup.
|Jerry Hairston Jr., 3b/lf
Age: 35. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: Approximately $667,000 ($2 million salary for 2011; eligible for free agency after the season).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.