Miami Marlins: An Outfield in Flux, What it Means for Lewis Brinson

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 03: Lewis Brinson
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 03: Lewis Brinson /

The Miami Marlins have two rookie outfielders on the dl and just traded away their second most experienced player from the grass. The departure of Cameron Maybin via trade and the inclusion of Garrett Cooper and Lewis Brinson on the disabled list leave the Marlins outfield in a state of flux.

The Miami Marlins have four players currently listed as “outfielders” on the active roster, three of them rookies, and two of them playing out of position. The 40-man roster offers only more questions.

Miami Marlins
JUPITER, FL – FEBRUARY 22: Lee Braxton #74 of the Miami Marlins poses for a portrait at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 22, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /


After Braxton Lee started the season with just three hits in 17 at bats, he was optioned to the New Orleans Baby Cakes, but has been retained on the 40-man. Since then, Lee has split his time between the top three levels of the Marlins minor league system, slashing .232/.313/.291 in 54 contests. Not quite what we were expecting after he led the Southern League with a .309 average last season.


Miami Marlins
DENVER, CO – JUNE 24: Lewis Brinson #9 of the Miami Marlins hits a seventh inning RBI triple against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 24, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Brinson opened the season as Miami’s #1 overall prospect, and struggled mightily in 84 appearances, mostly in center field. He put up a .186/.232/.338 slashline, and although his defense at times was well above average, he was also prone to gaffes which more experienced outfielders could have likely avoided. He currently holds a .971 fielding percentage, with seven errors.


Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FL – JULY 15: Garrett Cooper #30 of the Miami Marlins slides into second base after hitting a double during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on July 15, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Garrett Cooper, listed as an outfielder, was also expected to contribute to Miami’s overall bottom line this season. Instead, a pair of injuries to his right wrist has limited him to a seven-for-33 season with two RBI. He’s unlikely to return to the field anytime soon, and is possibly awaiting surgery.

Maybin? Oh.

Maybin provided some depth to the Marlins outfield, but of course Miami parted with him in a trade deadline deal with the Seattle Mariners yesterday. We received single-A infielder Bryson Brigman in return, along with $250,000 of international bonus pool money.


That leaves overachieving rookie third baseman Brian Anderson in right field, infielder out-of-position Derek Dietrich in left field, and a combination of the extremely untested Magneuris Sierra and Isaac Galloway in center.


Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FL – JULY 29: Magneuris Sierra #34 of the Miami Marlins singles in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on July 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Sierra is extremely fast. Maybe the fastest in the game today. His 3.46 second home-to-first time on his 10th inning bunt single on Saturday was the fastest recorded in the Statcast era. In 29 career major league games, he’s hitting .301/.333/.313. So pretty much singles and stolen bases from him.


Miami Marlins
JUPITER, FL – FEBRUARY 22: Isaac Galloway /

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Galloway is a very different proposition. To say Galloway waited a long time for his callup is an understatement. An eighth-round selection out of California in 2008, he toiled in the minors for 11 years before his first major league game yesterday. He made the most of it, collecting a hit and a run in the ninth inning of Miami’s 11-6 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Galloway was slashing .262/.315/.429 in 92 games for the Baby Cakes, and has 69 career minor league home runs in 947 games in total.

September’s Miami Marlins Outfield Picture

Brinson may have to earn back his playing time when he returns. Sierra has been more than adequate in an admittedly small sample size, and Galloway is sure to make the most of his opportunity. Brinson struck out almost a third of the time, with 94 whiffs in 311 plate appearances. That’s Rob Deer-esque right there. Steve Balboni-ish even.

Miami Marlins
1989: Steve Balboni #50 of the New York Yankees follows through on the swing during a 1989 season game. Steve Balboni played for the New York Yankees from 1981-1983 and 1989-1990. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

So we’re left with the question, ‘Will Brinson ever realize the potential of his skillset?” Only time travelers know for sure right now. I wouldn’t bet against him, but his position shouldn’t be considered a given.

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