While the 2017 MLB Draft is understandably taking up most of the baseball media attention at the moment, we still have rookies to cover here at Minor League Ball. The most important prospect promoted to the major leagues in recent days is Lewis Brinson of the Milwaukee Brewers. Here’s a quick look at what to expect.
Lewis Brinson was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round in 2012 from high school in Coral Springs, Florida. There has never been any question about his physical tools, speed and power potential, but he initially suffered with serious contact issues, fanning 191 times in 447 at-bats in 2013 for example.
He made sufficient progress as he moved up to rank among Texas’ best prospects, though he scuffled some in Double-A last year (.237/.280/.431) before being traded to the Brewers in the Jonathan Lucroy transaction.
Brinson ranked as the Number One prospect on the 2017 Milwaukee Brewers Top 20 prospects list with the following commentary:
1) Lewis Brinson, OF, Grade B+: Age 22, first round pick by the Rangers in 2012, acquired in Jonathan Lucroy deal; hit .268/.305/.468 with 15 homers, 17 steals, 21 walks, 87 strikeouts in 406 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A; excellent tools with speed, power, and throwing arm all impressive; offensive production remains erratic with pitch recognition that comes and goes, increasing his risk premium and keeping him from truly elite prospect status; 20/20 upside but expect some inconsistency. ETA 2017.
Listed at 6-3, 195, Brinson is a right-handed hitter and thrower born May 8th, 1994. He was hitting .312/.397/.503 with 22 walks and 45 strikeouts for Triple-A Colorado Springs before his promotion. In his MLB debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks he went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.
His profile hasn’t changed from the pre-season: Brinson has exciting tools and flashes the necessary skills but can still look raw as a hitter. He hit a robust .382/.457/.551 this year in his home park of Colorado Springs, which is a strong hitter’s park even by Pacific Coast League standards, but was considerably less impressive on the road with a .238/.333/.452 line.
Contact remains a concern and his batting average and OBP are likely to be erratic, at least in the short-term. That said, his power/speed potential and his glove are strong enough for the Brewers to be patient as possible through any growing pains.