Brewers have avoided an arbitration hearing with 2B Rickie Weeks today. Seems like a nice deal for both parties, Brewers gave him a little more then the midpoint of their offer and what Rickie wanted at $2.45 mill. Well this seems to me and most like the make or break year for Rickie Weeks. The guy was the 2nd overall pick in the 2003 draft and had so much hype around him that he was rushed a bit to the big leagues but that excuse does not work anymore. He has been up since June of 2005 so it is put up or shut up time for Weeks. We have all seen "flashes" of brilliance and greatness from Rickie. But we have seen much more of a player who make easy plays into errors at 2B and a guy who strikes out too much because he swings at to many breaking balls in the dirt.
I doubt at this point Weeks will ever reach his "potential" we put on him when he was drafted and raking in the minor leagues but if he can just be more consistent at the plate and in the field I think he can be a very solid 2B all around. If he could hit around .270 with 15-20 HR, drive in 60 runs, have an OBP in the .360 or higher range and steal more then 20 bases I would be more then happy and ready to lock him up long term. Of course being able to turn a routine double play and cutting his error totals will be huge as well.
I have been very hard on Rickie Weeks, but I'm going to keep an open mind this season and see where we are at the end of this season in his progression as a ball player. He does have tremendous raw ability and is too talented to stink for much longer. I also hope being able to work with a guy like Willie Randolph everyday will help Mr. Weeks.