There are a few players would could make-it or break-it based on their 2020 season performance.
The Miami Marlins have several such players on their 40-man roster. Which of them stand to lose out without a strong performance over the 60-game campaign.
In most seasons, teams can be patient while their players “heat up.” With 162 games on the schedule, some players (known as slow starters) can have a bad April and still finish the season with reasonably good numbers.
If it takes a month to get hot, who cares? That’s just one-sixth of the season. This year, it accounts for half. Players are going to be counted on to start strong. Some borderline players on the hot-seat include left-handed reliever Adam Conley, righty Drew Steckenrider, first baseman Jesus Aguilar, second baseman Isan Diaz, and outfielders Magneuris Sierra, Monte Harrison, and Lewis Brinson.
Brinson is probably the Miami Marlins player with the most pressure on him to perform quickly. After a lackluster rookie 2018 season in which he slashed just .199/.240/.338 with 11 round-trippers and 42 RBI, he actually took a step back by slashing .173/.236/.221 and going deep zero times.
Over his major league career, Brinson has struck out 211 times in 708 plate appearances, a whiff rate of 29.8 percent. He’s also managed to draw only 37 walks for a 5.2 percent base-on-balls rate. Despite his seeming helplessness on offense, he’s regarded as an average-or-better defender in center field. The numbers don’t back that up either, as Brinson led the majors in 2018 with eight outfield errors and added another five last season for a career .970 fielding percentage.
Widely regarded as a true five-tool player upon his arrival in the Miami Marlins system (in the Christian Yelich deal preceding the 2018 season), Brinson has failed to bat his weight over a not-small-sample-size. A former first-round choice who topped the Marlins prospect list upon his acquisition, the Fort Lauderdale native recently turned 26-years-old.
We’re all pulling for Brinson to succeed, as he’s clearly invested in the community and one of the more outgoing players on the team. Baseball, however, is a business. I can’t imagine he’d remain in the lineup if at any point past three games his batting average drops below .200.
Brinson is a solid guy and could be a huge contributor if his performance level reaches his potential. Will the Marlins continue their patience with him? Thanks for reading.