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Rickie Darnell Weeks, Jr. was born on September 13, 1982 and is a second basemen for the Milwaukee Brewers. Once considered the Brewers' top prospect, Weeks has battled injury and has struggled in the major leagues thus far, though he is still only 24 years old. At Southern University, Weeks was the 2003 recipient of the Golden Spikes Award, which is given each year to the best amateur baseball player in the nation.
Weeks has a younger brother, Jemile, who was also drafted by the Brewers, but chose to attend the University of Miami for baseball instead and is an all-conference second basemen for the Hurricanes. He will most likely be drafted again next year.
Drafted by the Brewers in the first round of the 2003 June amateur draft, Weeks batted so well in his first few months in the minor leagues that he was among those brought up by the Brewers during September call-ups in 2003. He made his major league debut on September 15 in an 11-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Weeks spent the entire 2004 season in Double-A and batted .259 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs and was promoted to Triple-A for the 2005 season.
His tenure in Triple-A was only long enough for him to make 203 at bats, but he made sure he didn't waste many. He batted .320 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs and had an OPS of 1.058, an amazing number considering Weeks was the leadoff hitter.
Due to his performance in Triple-A, the Brewers called him up for the remainder of the 2005 season. In 96 games in Milwaukee, Weeks hit .239 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs, hitting his first major league home run against that year's AL Cy Young winner Johan Santana in the same game that his close friend and teammate, Prince Fielder, also hit his first career home run.
Weeks played 95 games, mostly in the leadoff position, for Milwaukee in 2006. He hit .279 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 359 at bats before going on the shelf for the remainder of the season due to wrist surgery.
Weeks began the season as the leadoff hitter for the Brewers, who have been in first place since early May, despite limited production out of Weeks. Although Weeks was batting just .243 at the end of May, he had scored 34 runs already for the team, a testament mostly to the hitters behind him in the lineup.
Weeks' wrists began to bother him again at the end of May, and he spent two weeks on the disabled list resting and rehabbing and lost his spot as the leadoff hitter to Corey Hart. Upon his return, he hit six doubles in his first five games back but recorded only three hits in his next 36 at bats and was benched in favor of Craig Counsell just before the All-Star Break.
Weeks was sent down to the minors at the end of July to try to build his confidence back up. It must've worked, as he was back in the majors two weeks later and batted .273 with 11 homers the rest of the way.
Weeks picked up where he left off in 2007 in a sense, as he scored a run in each of the first four games of the season to break Paul Molitor's team record for consecutive games with a run scored. Weeks' 17th game with a run also tied a modern day National League record.
On his better days, Weeks will show off the fact that he is without a doubt a five-tool player. He possesses one of the quickest bats in the league, but his vision at the plate is lacking at times. He has above average speed and has the ability to hit 20+ home runs if he stays healthy and makes contact. In 2006, his defensive shortcomings were widely publicized, as he committed 22 errors in just 92 games, four errors more than Chase Utley, who played nearly every game, but in 2007, Weeks has improved ten-fold, committing six errors in 60 games for a .979 fielding percentage, which certainly isn't great but is a definite improvement.
- Selected by Milwaukee Brewers in the 1st round (2nd pick overall) of the free-agent draft (June 3, 2003 - signed August 7, 2003).