Milwaukee Brewers: Looking at the centerfield dilemma
The Milwaukee Brewers recently recalled outfielder Keon Broxton from Triple-A. He has started him his first two games back against the Cardinals.
What Broxton starting means is that Lewis Brinson, the Milwaukee Brewers top prospect, is left sitting on the bench. Which has caused a stir with many fans.
Brinson just recently got called back up to the big leagues after raking in Triple-A. And was playing fairly well. He hit his first two career home runs in the series in Washington. Then made two very nice diving catches in the series against Chicago.
During Brinson’s sencond stint with the big league club he has a .316 on base percentage, along with a .847 OPS. He has walked a total of eight times in his major league career, and has had some very impressive at bats.
However, he hasn’t produced as many hits as you would like to see out of him. That might be what is keeping Counsell from handing him the keys to center field every day. The question is, who is really more deserving of the spot?
Broxton has done many good things for the Brewers this year. He brings talent to many areas of the field. But he is not a pure hitter with the talent to be the every day option moving forward. When Broxton hits the ball, he hits it well. But going at a .216 batting average and a .720 OPS, he is clearly not deserving of every day playing time. No matter how good the defense is.
Brinson clearly showed in the Cubs series that he can pay a very good center field. He is fast like Broxton. He may even have a better arm. So you definetly don’t lose much defensively with Brinson. Even if you put fellow prospect outfielder Brett Phillips into CF, you wouldn’t lose much at all defensively.
Offensively, Brinson isn’t all there yet. But his manager isn’t giving him the playing time or the consistent starts to be able to get there right now. The fact that GM David Stearns refused to trade Brinson at the deadline proves that this team expects him to be the starting outfielder for years to come, so why not start now?
Brinson has absolutely nothing left to prove back in Triple-A. After he got sent down, he batted over .400 to earn his second call up. It doesn’t make sense to send him down again just to make room for somebody who is at the top in strikeouts as a batter in the NL.
Broxton is a player with a lot of energy and athleticism. But with his numbers, and with no real other candidate stepping up and taking the job, it should be Brinson getting his major league opportunity now.
If Brinson were to start every day for the next two weeks and he was legitimately hurting the team with his struggles, then you send him down. You don’t send him down when he’s just getting used to starting and doing some really good things in key situations.
Milwaukee Brewers fans can only hope that Broxton doesn’t continue to hurt the team with his strikeout problems, and that Brinson is given the right opportunity by his manager and the organization to prosper in development, not stunt his growth.