The Milwaukee Brewers have signed shortstop Ozzie Chavez to a minor-league deal once again, after the 29-year-old had already previously spent eight years with the organization.
Chavez has been bouncing around the minors since 2001 and has never made it to the big leagues. Obviously, the Dominican Republic native has high hopes of finally being a part of a Major League Baseball team, but it is unclear if that will happen in 2013.
The switch hitter has reached Triple-A three times with the Brewers. However, in 2008, Chavez’s last season in Milwaukee’s farm system, the shortstop was sent back down to Double-A in place of infielder Mat Gamel. Chavez left the Brewers after that and played for a couple of Philadelphia Phillies‘ affiliates, and spent part of the 2011 season in the Chicago White Sox farm system.
Chavez’s best statistical season in Triple-A came with the Brewers in 2007, in which he posted a .258 batting average, four home runs, 32 runs batted in, 13 doubles, three triples and four stolen bases in 351 plate appearances with the Nashville Sounds. Chavez did not play in any MLB-affiliated league last season, and instead played baseball for the Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League, where he batted .300 for the season.
The reason Milwaukee signed Chavez was to fill a major gap in their farm system where shortstops are practically non-existent. This was one of the main reasons the Brewers traded starter Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels for shortstop Jean Segura this past July. If something were to happen to Segura, who will be the starter in 2013, Milwaukee has no quality player to fall back on. If that were to be the case, then Chavez may finally see the big leagues.
Chavez is a great defensive infielder who has the ability to make any play. Unfortunately, his offensive skills are not where they need to be to play at the professional level. If he has a productive year in the minors, expect to see him called up at the end of the 2013 season.