After the Brewers tendered contracts to four of their position players from last season, one thing was clear: there are no pure third basemen on the roster. Presumably for this reason, the team signed free agent third baseman Zach Green to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
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Who Is Zach Green?
3B Zach Green has been signed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League camp. pic.twitter.com/ClhGol4sb2
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) December 3, 2020
27-year old Zach Green was first drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the third round of the 2012 amateur draft. Green spent six seasons in the Phillies’ farm system, but missed a lot of time with injuries. In 2018, he was finally able to put a full season together, hitting .281/.356/.532 with 20 home runs and 75 RBI between the Phillies AA and AAA afilliates.
After the 2018 season, he was signed as a free agent by the San Francisco Giants. Green was a force to be reckoned with with the Giants’ AAA team in 2019, hitting .282/.380/.659 with 25 home runs and 64 RBI. His production earned him his first call-up to the Big Leagues. Green appeared in eight games with the Giants, getting just hits in sixteen plate appearances.
Shortly after his call-up, Green’s season ended due to a nagging hip injury that had bothered him throughout the season. He needed surgery, but came into 2020 hoping to make the Giants’ roster out of Spring Training.
Spring Training, though, was cut short due to the COVID pandemic. Even after the restart, Green was not added to the Giants’ roster. Since there was no Minor League season in 2020, he did not appear in any meaningful games last year.
What Does This Signing Mean for the Brewers?
As noted above, the Brewers do not have any natural third basemen on their current roster. Jedd Gyorko and Eric Sogard were let go after the season. This leaves Luis Urias and Mark Mathias as the current Brewers players who can play third. Neither of them, though, is a primary third baseman.
Green seemed to be on the precipice of breaking out and being a contributing member of a Major League team when his 2019 was cut short. Like many recent Brewers’ signings, this is a low-risk/high-reward signing. If Green can bring some of his 2019 AAA production to the Majors, the Brewers will be in a good spot at third base.
Craig Counsell has a tendency to platoon his corner infielders depending on the starting pitcher. Right-handed batters typically start against left-handed pitchers, and left-handed batters start against right-handed pitchers. All three of the Brewers perspective third basemen are right-handed hitters, which means that the team likely is not done searching for a left-handed bat to man the hot corner.