With the potential of half a season to shine, will this be the year Miami Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson shows he is ready to become a mainstay in MLB?
In a season that will be remembered by the masses as one of the strangest in Major League history, could it be the one where Miami Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson finally puts together a successful campaign?
I know Max Goodman of Sports Illustrated wrote how he believes shortstop Miguel Rojas will benefit the most from playing fewer games in 2020, but it could be the almost forgotten outfielder in the Marlins organization who may turn a few heads and finally fulfill the promise of a youngster from South Florida who has lost his way since being traded to his hometown team.
If this happens, where Brinson has as good a chance as anyone to make the 2020 Miami Marlins campaign magical, it will follow a script Hollywood could not write any better.
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The Marlins front office and coaching staff haven’t given up on Brinson, but they aren’t talking about him with the same glowing recommendations as they once were when he was the main piece in the trade that sent Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers. And in the two seasons, since the trade was orchestrated, Yelich has become arguably the best player in the National League. Brinson, Monte Harrison, Jordan Yamamoto, and Isan Diaz are still waiting to “happen” on the parent level.
If the past two Spring Training seasons are any indication of how a fast start to the season will be beneficial to anyone on the Miami Marlins roster, it is Brinson, who showed great power in 2018 and 2019 Grapefruit Leagues. Only to fall back to reality once baseball games were meaningful
Given there is a logjam in the outfield where seven players are fighting for two starting spots, things don’t look as bright for Brinson being in the team’s starting lineup – whenever baseball comes back to the ballpark.
There are others who are in the same position as Brinson, needing a solid start to make the front office believe in them for the future. Garrett Cooper must stay healthy. Jorge Alfaro must continue to work on his hitting and defense to make everyone forget J.T. Realmuto. Pablo Lopez needs an injury-free season to prove he is worthy of the third spot in the rotation with a chance to move up in 2021.
But for Brinson, it’s been the biggest “watch” for the Marlins the past two seasons. If he can hit 11 home runs this season like he did in 2018 and hit for average, then the Miami faithful has something to cheer about. Defense has never been an issue. Contact at the plate and learning patience has been part of the issues for the slugger.
As the signs of MLB getting back to the business of playing the game again, Brinson and his Miami Marlins teammates wait their turn. Hopefully, he can catch lightning in a bottle and prove he is the player the team once thought he was while making a blockbuster trade deal. If not, this might be the last straw for the outfielder.
There is no doubt Brinson should make the 30-man roster this season. What he does after that will determine his future in Miami. Either he puts it all together or this could be the last time fans see the hometown hero swinging for the fences in a jersey he has wanted to wear since he was a child.