I’ve got two related questions in the mailbag about Miami Marlins prospects Lewis Brinson and Brian Anderson. First, this one from back on April 5th:
“If Lewis Brinson gets off to a slow start, how long should the Marlins stay with him?”—-John R. from Alabama
Then this one came in a couple of days ago:
“Two questions: Lewis Brinson is sinking my team, time to cut bait? And will Brian Anderson show more power eventually?”—-C.T., Augusta, GA
If you’re not keeping close track, Brinson is off to a very slow start, hitting .131/.185/.131 through 16 games, 61 at-bats. He has zero extra base hits and has fanned 20 times against three walks. Anderson has been much better, hitting .246/.387/.361 with 11 walks and 10 strikeouts in 61 at-bats.
Answering the questions in reverse order:
A) Yes, I think Anderson will eventually show more power. He hit 22 homers in the high minors last season and while I don’t think he will be a huge power masher, he should eventually provide double-digit home run production, say 15ish, with a high OBP and reasonable defense. He could exceed that especially when he gets into his late 20s.
B) Fantasy-wise, what you should do with Brinson depends on the way your league is structured. In a long-term keeper context, I think he’s worth holding onto given the “don’t sell low” principle, though shuffling him to the reserve roster for the moment seems wise. In a shorter-term situation or in a league without a farm roster, if you need Brinson to produce now, trading or cutting him is probably the right thing.
C) As for what the real-life Marlins will do, right now they seem committed to letting Brinson work out his problems with a bit of time off from regular duty and more work in the batting cage. Joe Frisaro at MLB.com noted last week that the Marlins want to make sure he stays on-track emotionally while making adjustments, noting that “. . .as long as he’s working hard and adjusting, and not showing signs of losing confidence, he likely will stay. . .” on the roster.
I think that’s the right move. Brinson crushed Triple-A last year and there isn’t really much left for him to learn in the Pacific Coast League. The only reason to send him down would be to restore his confidence if it starts to slip. That may be necessary at some point but I don’t think we’re there yet.