After an impressive Spring Training and Grapefruit Season, can Miami Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson become a leader on the field and in the clubhouse for the 2019 season?
Lewis Brinson is one of those players who was super excited to come home to South Florida last season. Now, as the starting centerfielder for the Marlins, can the youngster take another step in his MLB career as a leader on the field and in the clubhouse for this organization?
This could be one of those seasons, judging by the improvements he showed at the plate in camp and during the Grapefruit League this spring, where Brinson has shown the ability the team believed he had before the deal to send Christian Yelich to Milwaukee was complete.
Last week, I predicted Brinson could have an All-Star season. If he continues to work the count and shows off the power he started to display in the first half of spring games, then this could be a magical season. The Marlins, with all of the changes that will take place with the rotation and the roster this season, could use some of that magic to show they will be a contender in the near future.
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At 25-years-old, Lewis Brinson is still growing as a baseball player. The Ft. Lauderdale native could be a 25-30 home run hitter. It’s something manager Don Mattingly spoke about when he talked to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.
"“He’s got capabilities of being a middle of the order guy,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s got power. He’s got speed. He can do a lot of things…“We’ve got to get consistency before we can take the next step, and seeing where he goes,” Mattingly said. “If he can get consistent at-bats, getting him in the right position.”"
Last year could be considered a disaster at the plate for Brinson, who hit 11 home runs and 42 RBI, but a .199 batting average and injuries derailed any chance of success. This year, so far, has been a massive improvement.
A move in the batting order may help, where Lewis Brinson has been hitting fifth for most of the spring. He will get as many chances to show off his power and put the ball in play as the team can give him. The Marlins would like to take advantage of his speed on the base pads as well.
"“According to Statcast, Brinson’s exit velocity in September was 90.6 mph, up from 88.6 mph from Opening Day to Aug. 31,” Frisaro added."
Brinson’s defense in the spacious outfield of Marlins Park will be a huge help this season. If he gets better at the plate, hits with more power and shows off his glove a time or two, this season will be the one Marlins fans hoped for when Brinson took the field on Opening Day last year.