Milwaukee Brewers: Lewis Brinson vs. Brett Phillips
By Trevor Hooth
There will be two very promising players in the Milwaukee Brewers outfield. They more than likely will be patrolling it at the same time.
Between Brett Phillips and Lewis Brinson it is not a stretch to say that the pair will be mainstays in the Milwaukee Brewers outfield. That is not a bad thing for the future. It is interesting to look into who will leave the biggest mark on the organization.
The player of the future. Brinson did not go to college. The Texas Rangers drafted him in the first round out of high school in 2012. He did suffer some injuries throughout the minors, but still is a top prospect.
MLB Pipeline ranks him as the top Milwaukee Brewers prospect and the 13th best in the league. After the Jonathan Lucroy trade, Brinson really took over the Crews prospects because of his 30/30 potential. He is certainly a great threat with the bat.
Through sporadic playing time at the MLB level, he did not fully show that. He hit a meager .106. Five hits in 47 at bats. But, two of those were homers. Brinson even stole a base. His Triple A numbers, though, are gaudy. A .331 average with Colorado Springs is nothing to scoff at.
This lefty hitter was also drafted in 2012. Except he was a sixth rounder, also out of high school. The Houston Astros began grooming him until the Carlos Gomez deal. After that, the Milwaukee Brewers got their hands on him.
Phillips grew to become the 12th ranked prospect in the organization. He also has speed, and some pop at the plate. It does not quite measure up to the levels of Brinson, but it is still there. His defense, though, eclipses any outfielder in the organization.
The number of at bats Phillips got is only 40 more than Brinson. In 87 at bats, Phillips hit a solid .276 with four homers. He adds five steals to show off the speed. Not to mention his arm in the outfield, setting a top Statcast moment for the season.
As previously mentioned, both guys have pop at the plate and speed on the basepaths. Even though they both enjoyed stints with the Milwaukee Brewers, both are still rookie eligible through 2018.
They both are on a very similar path. Both started professionally in 2012 after being taken out of high school. Both came over in trades from a team in Texas. And both can be a centerfield cornerstone for years to come.
Brinson is better with the bat, and has more potential at the plate. Phillips is a budding superstar with the leather. The tools are different enough to make them different prospects. One of the more interesting things to differentiate them is that one is a righty, and the other hits lefty. That can come into play.
The biggest difference, at least for me, is where they project. Brinson is a clear cut centerfielder. However, Phillips tools make him project better in right field, despite the Domingo Santana obstacle in the way. But that should go away when the move him to left field.
Who Will Leave A Bigger Mark?
Before revealing the answer, this is a win-win situation. The Milwaukee Brewers cannot lose here. But when all is said and done, Phillips will be the bigger star. MLB Pipeline projections are great, but they are just projections.
At the end of the day, Phillips is a more complete player than Brinson is. At the plate, the top prospect might hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases, which will make him a star. But what Phillips will be close to that with better defense.
It would not be surprising if, together, the pair hits 50 homers and steals 50 bases on a yearly basis. They are both that talented. The defense of Phillips is what gives him an edge over the budding stardom of Brinson.
Next: Do The Brewers Have An Everyday 2B?
What a pair to have patrolling the outfield though. The Milwaukee Brewers outfield is in a very good place right now. Both of them in the same outfield means stardom for the future. Just wait until they both are playing full seasons.