Hard-Hitting Gennett Scoots Along With Brewers

MILWAUKEE—Ask Garth Iorg for his impressions of Scooter Gennett and he always starts with the same description.

"That kid can hit," Iorg said.

Now the Brewers first-base coach, Iorg formerly was the organization's roving minor league infield instructor. He first saw Gennett at low Class A Wisconsin in 2010, the year after the Brewers took the high school shortstop in the 16th round of the draft out of Sarasota, Fla.

The Brewers converted Gennett to second base, which they felt would be a better position for him to advance through the system. But what immediately caught their eye was Gennett's bat. Advanced enough to skip Rookie ball, he headed to Wisconsin, where he batted .309/.354/.406 with 39 doubles, four triples, nine home runs and 55 RBIs.

At 5-foot-9, 165 pounds, the lefthanded-hitting Gennett fits the nickname Scooter, but that doesn't mean he lacks pop in his bat.

"He can hit the ball a long ways," Iorg said. "He can mash. You'd be surprised. He has good bat speed and technique."

Bumped up to high Class A Brevard County in 2011, Gennett continued to hit. He batted .300/.334/.406 with 20 doubles, six triples, nine homers and 51 RBIs.

"And Brevard is not a great place for hitters," Iorg said. "The wind blows in off the ocean every day."

Though Gennett is 21, the Brewers felt he was ready for the Arizona Fall League. There, he quickly showed he was ready to face advanced pitching.

In his second game of the AFL season, Gennett smacked a grand slam. He was hitting .381/.458/.595 through 42 at-bats.

"I'm telling you, the kid can hit," Iorg said. "His bat will get him to the big leagues at some point."

As for Gennett's defensive projection, Iorg added, "He's got a pretty good arm. He just fits better at second base. He's a little rough there, too, but he'll get better with experience."


• Righthander Tyler Thornburg was 1-0, 3.38 through his first three AFL appearances. He issued four walks in his first five innings with three strikeouts. Thornburg, 23, went a combined 10-6, 2.57 in 137 innings between Wisconsin and Brevard County.

• Catcher Martin Maldonado, who had his best season in the minors and was a September callup by the Brewers, remained with the big league club during the playoffs in the event one of the catchers was injured.