The first-base exterior wall of Herschel Greer Stadium, home of the Class AAA Nashville Sounds, is adorned with banners of players who have made the jump from Music City to the big leagues. Ryan Braun's picture is up there. So are those of Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, R.A. Dickey, Jonathan Lucroy, John Axford, Nelson Cruz and others who have made it to the majors with the Milwaukee Brewers and other organizations. "That's the thing," Scooter Gennett was saying. "When we drive in every day, we see the posters of the players who have made it, really wanted it and kept that drive to eventually get to where they are now. "It's always good to drive in and see that every day. Hopefully I'm up there one day." Chances are good that it will happen sooner rather than later. Gennett, a left-handed-hitting second baseman, is the latest in a distinguished line of Brewers prospects who have used Nashville as a short-term bridge to Miller Park. At the moment, Gennett appears closer to making it than any other everyday player in the farm system, even if the Brewers already have an established, if not slump-mired, second baseman in Weeks. "Scooter's makeup is great," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "He's going to be a big-league player." Gennett says his drive began at the age of 2, when he attended his first Reds game in his native Cincinnati. "Barry Larkin was my guy," Gennett said. "I had his glove and I always looked up to him. He was a good guy on and off the field. It's where I set my goals to be." By 10 his skills were so apparent that the parents of Ryan J. Gennett - the nickname came at age 5, after a Muppets character - moved the family to Florida so their son could play baseball year-round. "They basically quit their jobs," Gennett said. "They didn't have jobs waiting for them when they got to Florida. It sounds pretty crazy. Your kid is only 10 and you decide to do something like that. But they obviously saw something in me. And it ended up paying off. "The family made the commitment and made sacrifices for me. I'm where I am today because of them in my desire to reach my goal." The measure of the sacrifice was not lost on Gennett. "He's a hard worker. He's on the right path," Nashville manager Mike Guerrero said of his second baseman, typically the first player to arrive each day at Greer Stadium, a good five hours before the first pitch. "At that age you really don't know the gravity of the situation," Gennett said. "When you feel like this is what you're supposed to do the pressure isn't there. You just believe in it and trust your work ethic and routine every day." Maybe that's why no one in the organization has ever made an issue of the 23-year-old Gennett's size. He's listed at 5 feet 9 inches and 160 pounds, but that wasn't the reason the Brewers found him all the way down in the 16th round of the 2009 draft.
Second baseman Scooter Gennett has impressed at every level
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | May 19