With the 2020 Major League Baseball season on indefinite hold, it’s a good time to look back at some of the good times we’ve had with the Marlins in the past.
Prior to the 2018 MLB season, the Miami Marlins traded away then-future National League Most Valuable Player Christian Yelich for a package including four ranked prospects. After the acquisition, now-probable number four pitcher Jordan Yamamoto was the 18th ranked prospect. Second baseman Isan Diaz, then ranked eighth, is now the Marlins starting shortstop. Then number two prospect Monte Harrison, an outfielder, is poised to make a big splash when he joins the team, probably a month after they commence play.
The top prospect at the time was outfielder Lewis Brinson, who turns 26-years-old today. Although Brinson’s output hasn’t been at all what we expected, there’s still time for him to turn it around and make the deal less — unbalanced.
Despite hitting .199 in his rookie season in 2018, Brinson still managed to author 16 multihit games during that time. On April 19, in his first appearance against his former team in Milwaukee, Brinson went deep twice, accounting for all of Miami’s offense in a 12-3 loss to the Brewers.
On June 18, Brinson struck out in the second, but hit a double and later scored in the fifth against the San Francisco Giants. After drawing a walk in the seventh, Brinson tied the score at four in the ninth, knocking in J.T. Realmuto with a one-out single. Miguel Rojas drove home Cameron Maybin with the eventual game winner with the next at-bat. Kyle Barraclough pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
Brinson’s best game of the season, going by his .527 Win Probability Added, was on September 7 in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Brinson hit a two-out double in the second inning, but got stranded. In the fourth, he struck out swinging to end the inning with the Marlins trailing, 2-0.
With two out and two on in the sixth, Brinson came up and connected on a three-run homer against Bucs starter Chris Archer to put the Marlins up by a 3-2 margin. In the ninth, trailing 5-3, Brinson led off the inning with a single and made his way to second on a passed ball. Unfortunately, he was stranded there for the Marlins loss.
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Brinson began the 2019 campaign with a much shorter leash due to his underwhelming overall 2018. He slashed a .173/.236/.221 line, which is noteworthy for all the wrong reasons. Still, Brinson had his moments to shine. On April 2, Brinson led a 16-hit Marlins assault on New York Mets pitching with just 5,934 in attendance at Marlins Park. Somehow, Brinson’s three hits (and the other 13 hits by the rest of the team) weren’t enough to guarantee a victory, as the Marlins lost, 6-5.
For his part, Brinson led off the second inning with a single with the Marlins trailing, 5-1. Still trailing 5-1 in the fourth, Brinson led off with a double and again got stranded. After lining out to lead off the sixth, Brinson drove JT Riddle home with a single in the seventh to cut the lead to 6-3. Trailing 6-5 in the ninth, Brinson led off by getting on base via HBP, but he was cut down on a Rojas line-drive straight to the shortstop to end the game.
That game was one of eight in which Brinson collected multiple hits, out of the 75 total in which he appeared. Brinson will need more of these in the future. Happy 26th birthday to Fort Lauderdale native Brinson!