Jemile (pronounced ja-mile) Weeks, 18, has had quite a busy day. He began the day not knowing completely whether or not he would sign with the Milwaukee Brewers of if he would attend his first class at the University of Miami.
Since the Brewers and their new owner Mark Attanasio, a Los Angeles investor who bought the Brewers in January for $220 million, could not meet Weeks's offer he wanted, which was a $900,000 signing bonus, he decided to become a Hurricane.
"I signed with Miami early and this is where I wanted to go," Weeks said. "I knew if things didn't work professionally then I really wanted to come here. Because the money wasn't there I just felt that school was the right way to go and to get my education."
It was very hectic for Weeks in the final day of negotiations. Prior to his 8:00 a.m. class Weeks was still negotiating with the Brewers. As his class approached Miami recruiting coordinator Gino DiMare and academic coordinator Artavias Thompkins picked up Weeks and took him to class.
"We probably worried about him signing at the end the most," head coach Jim Morris said. "He turned down a lot of money to be in school and with his brother as the second baseman for the Brewers they had the family thing also, which was a little bit scary. I think coming to school was the best decision for him and he has a chance to be a very good player."
Weeks is expected to compete for the starting second baseman position with Walter Diaz and Roger Tomas. He could also play shortstop if needed.
"I just want to come in and get a chance to play," Weeks said. "Wherever they need me I am willing to play."
During his senior year at Lake Brantley (Fla.) High School, Weeks hit .490 with five homeruns and 15 stolen bases while playing shortstop. He played second base his first years in high school.
"I feel comfortable at both positions," Weeks said. "It feels more natural to play second base because I have put in more work there. At the college level it will take a lot of work to play shortstop."
According to the scouting report on MLB.com, Jemile:
"Plays with a lively, athletic body. Switch-hitting, line driver hitter with good pop. Aggressive hitter who's best when driving the ball into the gaps. Good feet and a great first step. Fields with sure hands and nice carry on throws. Aggressive, instinctive base runner."
During the summer Weeks played with the Florida Bombers, who went 41-7 in the Connie Mack League. He batted .431 with three homeruns, 20 runs batted in, was 11-for-14 in stolen bases, and had a 1.291 OPS in 38 games.
Current Hurricanes Yonder Alonso and Carlos Gutierrez also played with the Bombers. Weeks was able to meet a number of the Hurricanes over the summer.
"They are all great individuals," Weeks said. "I have gotten to know a lot of them since I have been down here. They are good guys who take care of me and look after me. "
RICKIE & JEMILE
Jemile is the younger brother of current Milwaukee Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks who was selected 2nd overall in the 2003 MLB Draft.
Rickie Weeks, 22, led the country in hitting his sophomore (.495) and junior (.479) years while at Southern Univeristy. Weeks also earned the presitigious Golden Spikes Award in 2003 as the best amateur player in the United States.
Rickie was not drafted after high school and was close to the same size as Jemile who stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 160 pounds. Right now Rickie is 6-foot-0 and weighs 195 pounds.
"College really helped him develop his body and his game to prepare him for the major leagues," Jemile said. "I should be able to get the same improvements as he did."
Jemile was able to watch some of Rickie's college games and picked up on Rickie's strengths like his quick hands, aggressiveness, and power.
"I watched the way he played and tried to mimic some things," Jemile said. "I just wanted to be a student of the game, which has probably helped me out watching someone be a number two overall pick and be successful."
Rickie made his major league debut on September 15, 2003, just months after being drafted and just two days after his 21st birthday, and was the fifth youngest player to appear in a MLB game during that season. He only recorded 12 at-bats and spent the 2004 season in Double A before being called up June 11, 2005 for a permanent stay at the top of the lineup for the Brewers.
The Brewers current second baseman is batting .256 with 11 homeruns, 30 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases in 64 games.
The two keep in touch pretty well as they will talk every few days. They will talk about baseball and how things are going--"normal stuff" according to Jemile.
Right now the Brewers are hosting the Marlins and Jemile plans on watching the games on TV tonight and tomorrow.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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