Minor League Signings Include Shortstop

March 13, 2010: Houston Astros Edwin Maysonet (18) during spring training game action between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, FL.

While most of us were still coming down from our Zack Greinke highs (yes, that’s a countdown to Greinke/Opening Day in the left column), the Brewers snuck in and signed a slew of minor league guys and gave them invites to camp. While most of them just seem like warm camp bodies, there are a couple interesting players in the mix.

The signings were catcher Shawn Riggans, pitcher Jesus Sanchez, pitcher Jim Henderson, and perhaps the most interesting player, shortstop Edwin Maysonet. They also brought back reliever Roque Mercedes, who was previously traded to Arizona a two years ago in the Felipe Lopez deal.

Since the Brewers announced their plans to start Yuniesky Betancourt at short, a lot of people — myself included — have been looking at any and all options to replace him. It might be a little harsh, but I’ll be damned if his poor defense ruins this new pitching staff. Just fair warning, but whenever I see “Brewers sign shortstop…” this offseason, I’m going to get a little excited, even if it’s a guy like Maysonet.

He’s not special by any means — he’s 29 and has only played in a handful of major league games, and hasn’t been all that spectacular. His career line of .276/.317/.342 is pretty empty, and his minor league numbers aren’t much better, although he did hit .271/.343/.379 in 2008 for Triple-A Round Rock in Houston’s system.

His ZiPS projections for 2011 aren’t very good, either, at .232/.286/.308 and an OPS+ of 61. Betancourt is projected at .266/.292/.392 and an OPS+ of 83 — still generally terrible, but at least a touch better than Maysonet. Defensively, not much is out there on him, but would it be wrong for me to assume he can’t be much worse than Betancourt?

Chances are Maysonet ends up just being organizational filler, but he might be someone to keep an eye in the spring. Who knows, maybe he makes it onto the roster as a 25th man.

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