CINCINNATI -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke doesn't see Scooter Gennett as a leadoff hitter, but thats where he slotted the 23-year-old second baseman on Sunday against the Reds.
Gennett led off for the second time in his rookie season, with the first such occasion coming on Wednesday against the Cardinals. Although he's been pleased with Gennett, Roenicke needs to see more from him before being sure that he can consistently bat at the top of the lineup.
"His batting average is basically going to carry his on-base [percentage]," Roenicke said, referring to Gennett's lack of walks. "But I see things getting better with him, and I think for him to be successful in the Major Leagues, he's going to have to start swinging at the pitch he wants to swing at. He's a good hitter. The problem with good hitters is they think they can hit any pitch. These guys, they've got pretty good stuff, so if you want to go up there and just swing the bat at everything, you're going to have a tough time here."
In 36 games entering Sunday, Gennett had taken just seven walks while striking out 21 times in 109 plate appearances. Roenicke said he doesn't expect Gennett to go to the plate looking for walks, but he does need to be better with his pitch selection.
The Brewers have been pleased with Gennett's offense, especially in his most recent stint with the team. Originally called up June 3, Gennett went back and forth between the Majors and Triple-A Nashville three times before being brought up for good on Aug. 9. Gennett batted .231 with a homer and five RBIs in his first 22 games. In the 14 contests (13 starts) since Aug. 9, Gennett was batting .426 (20-for-47) with four homers, nine RBIs and two doubles to go with three walks entering Saturday.
"I think, any time you're looking at young players and you see them developing, you see them getting better. That's what we try to do as a staff," Roenicke said. "That's our focus, trying to get players better. When you see them do that, that's the pleasure we get out of coaching."
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.