Outfielder Lewis Brinson is off to a fast start as the Miami Marlins compete in their first full week of Spring Training baseball.
His first two at bats on Wednesday resulted in two home runs. The youngster is quickly proving the struggles he had during the 2018 season, his first with the Marlins, could be a thing of the past.
And after watching his swing, which could not have been any better, you could make the argument the 24-year-old Ft. Lauderdale native could provide that power source this team lacked last season.
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Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. It’s only the first week of Spring Training baseball. There is still plenty more to be done to prepare for Opening Day. Manager Don Mattingly said all three positions in the outfield are an open competition and like everyone else, Brinson will need to compete for a starring role.
If Thursday was any indication of what is to come this season for No. 9, then we may been on the verge of watching brilliance on the baseball diamond. I know, it’s an exaggeration. But Brinson is quickly becoming my favorite player on the Marlins 25-man roster.
With time on the field comes experience, something Lewis Brinson lacked last season. A chance to fully heal from a hip injury and a chance to regroup after a unsatisfactory season at the plate. The hometown favorite still wants to be the face of this franchise. Playing like he did on Wednesday may help that become a reality.
Defense was not the problem last season for Brinson and he appeared to handle the spacious outfield in Marlins Park with success. It was his discipline at the plate, or lackthereof that led to a .199 batting average. He did hit 11 home runs in 2018, but think of what could have been with a full season and more consistency on the bases.
"As Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote, “Brinson spent the offseason working on refining his swing and getting in a better position to hit and recognize pitches.“In 2018, according to Statcast, he had a 39.9 percent strikeout rate off breaking pitches, compared to 21.4 percent off fastballs.”"
Becoming more focused and committing to getting better appears to have worked so far. Now, the rest of Spring Training is his way of proving he deserves to be back in the starting lineup and roaming the outfield once again.
Lewis Brinson hit fifth in the order on Wednesday against the New York Mets. After spending 2018 at the top of the batting order, might a change in location help him with his swing and producing more runs for the Marlins? The franchise and the coaching staff hopes so.
"“That all goes back into a better position to hit, and a better position to recognize those pitches that start off as strikes but end up as balls,” Brinson said. “It all comes back to what I’ve been working on, getting in better position, and making sure I’m ready to hit, every time, and not taking a pitch off. If you get in the right position to hit, everything will play itself out.”"