Ryan Braun recently went on the DL for the Milwaukee Brewers. And Lewis Brinson remains on the Colorado Springs Sky Sox roster.
This has me a bit befuddled.
The Brewers were playing well above expectations to start the season, before a recent, on-going five-game skid. Hernan Perez, Keon Broxton, and Domingo Santana are a reasonably young and well-performing outfield.
But do any of them have the long-term allure that Brinson has?
Brinson has been in the minors since 2012, so I don't see service time as an issue. That’s when the Texas Rangers made Brinson the 29th overall pick. He rose through the system pretty rapidly for a high-schooler, showing exciting raw ability in all aspects of the game.
The Rangers seemingly value prospects as trade chips these days. Starting with the Cole Hamels trade in 2015, they began to empty a farm system with some pretty enticing, high-profile prospects for veterans.
Brinson and Luis Ortiz — a 21-year-old exciting right-handed pitching prospect himself — joined the prospect exodus last season, heading to Milwaukee in the Jonathan Lucroy deal.
Brinson has been doing nothing but hit ever since.
His power bat was made for the thin desert airs of the Pacific Coast League. His first taste of the PCL came with the Rangers in Round Rock. Though just eight games, Brinson slashed .433/.541/.567. When he arrived in the Brewers organization, he went right to Colorado Springs. There, again a small sample size, he slashed .382/.387/.618 with nine doubles and four home runs in just 89 at bats.
Brinson has a lot of swing-and-miss in his game, but he has shown vast improvements in both his mechanics and plate discipline, and it’s obvious in his 2017 start. While he isn’t shattering walk marks, he’s striking out less than twice for every walk he draws, numbers in which he hasn’t always been akin.
While his hot start has cooled, his numbers are still fantastic. He’s slashing .315/.405/.504 with ten doubles and four home runs. Our own John Sickels has Brinson listed as the Brewers top prospect, earning a grade of B+. He has 60-grade tools that are amongst the best in the minors, blending power and speed at the plate, and range and a strong arm in the outfield.
Brinson has five-tool ability if he continues to increase his plate awareness. Having played all three outfield positions — and all relatively well — paired with 31 career assists, it seems like now was the prime opportunity for Brinson to see The Show.
Yet he idles in the PCL. What’s your thoughts Minor League Ball? Is it that he has only 146 career at bats above Double-A? Is it his strikeout tendencies? Or are the Brewers simply content with the youth they have and want to see what they are made of?