Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 3/27/12
Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has a history of locking up key young pieces to long-term contracts, and catcher Jonathan Lucroy became part of that history Tuesday. The Brewers have signed Lucroy to a five-year contract extension with a club option for 2017. Lucroy joins left fielder Ryan Braun (2020), pitcher Yovani Gallardo (2014), second baseman Rickie Weeks (2014) and right fielder Corey Hart (2013) as players Melvin signed to long-term deals when they began showing signs of being a core player. "We are pleased that Jonathan has agreed to this extension," Melvin said. "His work ethic and continued development and growth at the major league level made us feel good about engaging into this extension." Lucroy, 25, hit .265 with 12 home runs and 59 RBI in 136 games during 2011, his first full major league season. The Brewers' pitching staff posted a 3.63 ERA when he caught and went 68-46 in the 114 games he started at catcher. His 56 RBI were the fourth-most by a National League catcher. So far this spring, Lucroy is batting .469 (13-for-32) with one home run and six RBI. He's expected to hit seventh in the lineup, giving the Brewers a nice mix of power and average low in the batting order. "Catching is such an important position to a team's success, and Jonathan has grasped the challenges," Melvin said. "We project him to improve and become one of the better catchers in the league."
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