Earlier this season the Milwaukee Brewers took a shot and called up top outfield prospect Lewis Brinson.
Through his first 34 at bats in the MLB, Lewis Brinson struck out 13 times. Add that to getting only three hits and zero RBIs, it was a very lackluster first appearance for the Milwaukee Brewers young outfielder.
Sometimes players just are not ready. It was good experience for Brinson to get his feet wet against the highest level arms. He is the number one overall prospect in the Brewers organization according to MLB Pipeline, so he is expected to be better very soon.
In Triple A this season, he has blasted nine homers and stolen eight bases. He provides an interesting combination of speed and power that will be exciting to watch if he can put it all together. The question is, can he figure out how to do that? The abysmal first attempt doesn’t exactly leave fans oozing with confidence.
It doesn’t help that Brinson struggled with a shoulder injury back in 2015. Expectations still remain high for the former 29th overall pick though. That is because the tools he has shown since coming into professional baseball in 2012 warrant the high praise. The recovery seems to be going fine, as evidence by his .329 average this season at Triple A.
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A year can make a lot of difference. Just look at Aaron Judge. Even though now the giant outfielder is hitting record setting homeruns, the first time he broke onto the scene he struggled. Judge played in 27 games where he hit .179 and struck out 42 times in 2016. Fast forward one year and he is one of the most feared hitters in Major League Baseball.
By no means are Brinson and Judge the same player. But if one player can improve that much in a year, then there are grounds to believe Brinson can as well. Being a top prospect is a lot of pressure, and it is impossible to predict how a player will react once reaching the mountain top.
There is no way to tell what didn’t work when Brinson was called up. It could be a mechanical flaw in his swing, it could be that he just wasn’t ready, or it could have been all in his head. Something stopped a talented player from shining, but as with a lot of prospects, it won’t last long. The next time Brinson is in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform, he should perform.
The hope was that Brinson would find success like Josh Hader has. But prospects aren’t perfect. It cannot be counted on that they will perform, but that is part of the excitement. One thing is for sure, Brinson will come back with a chip on his shoulder because he will not want to get sent down again.
Look for Brinson to become an important member of the future Milwaukee Brewers outfield. Top prospects can miss, but it is hard to not project a player with his tools to become a productive Major Leaguer.