The second Austin Brice era of Miami Marlins baseball has officially come to an end.
Three days ago, the Marlins designated reliever Austin Brice for assignment, to make room for recently signed outfielder Corey Dickerson. Today, they traded him to the Boston Red Sox for shortstop Angeudis Santos.
Brice was initially chosen in the ninth round of the draft by Miami, back in 2010. After rising through the system to make his major league debut for the Marlins in 2016, they traded him to the Cincinnati Reds with Luis Castillo and Zeek White for Dan Straily.
After allowing 12 runs in 14 innings for Miami during his first look, Brice pitched 70 innings for the Reds over the following two campaigns. In 55 games, he was 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA and 58 strikeouts versus 20 walks.
Post-2018, Brice was thrice waived, first by the Reds, then by the Los Angeles Angels and finally by the Baltimore Orioles, where the Marlins picked him up.
Brice was a different pitcher for the Marlins in 2019 than they had previously seen. He put up a 124 ERA+, ranking second on the team out of pitchers who totaled more than 40 innings. In 44 2/3, he collected 46 K’s while walking only 18, going 1-0 with a 3.43 ERA.
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Santos is an 18-year-old Santiago, DR native and a middle infielder. In 56 games last season with the DSL Red Sox2, he hit just .184. That’s not the whole story though. He also led the 38-team Dominican Summer League with an incredible 55 walks to push his OBP to a more-than-acceptable mark of .384. With two doubles and two triples, Santos has almost no power to speak of, as of yet, but his pitch selection is advanced beyond his years.
At six-foot-one and 165 lbs., we should expect Santos to mature into his frame and eventually develop some gap power. Defensively, he played an inning each in left and right field, but made 50 starts at shortstop. His .926 fielding percentage is par-for-the-course at his current stage of development. His 4.43 range factor was over a half-play better per-nine innings than the major league average at shortstop, over a not-insignificant sample size of 432 1/3 innings, suggesting that this guy can go deep in the hole and/or has a very powerful arm.
Will Santos eventually be worth the price of Brice? We’ll probably have to wait in the neighborhood of four-to-six years to be able to tell. We’ll still be here to help you break it down whenever it happens. In the meantime, keep checking here for all your Marlins news.