The Miami Marlins could have another source of power on their roster next season if centerfielder Lewis Brinson continues to improve at the plate.
It’s been a season Lewis Brinson might want to remember as a learning experience. The centerfielder for the Miami Marlins has improved at the plate since returning to the team after an extended trip to the disabled list.
He could also be a source of power, as Joe Frisaro explains in his most recent “Inbox” segment on MLB.com. Brinson had 10 home runs the first half of 2018, something the Marlins will expect more of in 2019.
"“Since he came off the disabled list on Sept. 1, Brinson has shown signs that he could be an impactful everyday center fielder. We’re not going to completely see it reflected by his final numbers, when you consider his season slash line is .201/.241/.350 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs,” Frisaro explained."
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The Marlins may have struck gold with a power-hitting leadoff hitter. The team has experimented with multiple players this season, including second baseman Starlin Castro. Dee Gordon, who served as the team’s leadoff hitter and second baseman last season, provided speed and defense but did not have any pop in his bat.
"“More than the overall numbers, there is optimism based on his improvement and natural abilities. In September, he’s hitting .271 with eight RBIs. We’re seeing adjustments to go along with a strong work ethic and tremendous makeup,” Frisaro added."
While Brinson is a lock to make the 2019 roster, who is also part of the outfield might be one of the bigger question marks of the offseason. Derek Dietrich, who has had his best season at the plate, may not be in south Florida after this year. Brian Anderson, who spent time in right field during his rookie season, has returned to third base.
"“I don’t think Brinson will be a perennial .300-caliber hitter, but he could realistically be in the .250-.270 range with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs while playing Gold Glove Award-caliber defense,” Frisaro said.“To get there, Brinson clearly must improve against secondary pitches. According to Statcast™, he’s batting .249 off all fastballs but just .139 off breaking pitches.”"
At the time of his injury, Brinson was hitting .186. Since his return, he has been more consistent at the plate and has worked the count better.