I can’t remember the context of this. The player, the media members discussing it…they are all forgotten. But fairly recently I heard a discussion about the difference between young and old prospects and prospects with loads of MiLB AB’s and prospects with very few. The discussion centered mostly on comparing the International FA’s to college draftees. If you take two 22 year old MiLB players, one from college the other an IFA, the IFA has way more MiLB AB’s than the college draftee. Even though they’re the same age their experience isn’t comparable. That’s not to say one has better experience than the other, it’s just that they are different. I really haven’t spent any serious amount of time pouring over JJ Bleday’s stats since he signed but I’d imagine they’re not as good as you thought they’d be on draft day simply because adjusting to professional pitching takes time. Connor Scott has been a lot better lately than he was late last summer and early this season. The experience set it. Then you’ve also got players that sign internationally at an extremely young age like Victor Mesa Jr. Those players are going to take a lot of years in the minors to get ready.
This is all a precursor to me making a comment on Lewis Brinson. Brinson has been playing minor league baseball since he was 18. By this age one would really hope that he would have been in the majors making terrific contributions. He’s 25 with 8 seasons of minor league baseball. Eventually you have to make it happen. Lewis had the unfortunate distinction of being the closest to the major leagues among all the prospects received in those first big three trades two years ago. We were a poor farm system. We had moved the big names. The assets received were far from being ready and none of them were big names that the average ballpark goer would know. Even if you took the time to educate someone as to the reason for each trade (Stanton’s contract relief, etc) the big point to be made was that the Yelich trade was the one that was going to bring the most prizes. So there is Brinson, in the context of all that was going on, the Coral Springs kid, thrust into the starting lineup. His struggles became so bad you had to feel sorry for him. Lots of first round picks never make it. Lots of first round picks take a long time to make it if they do. Lots of first round picks aren’t stars but they do turn into useful members of a 25 man roster. Brinson doesn’t look like a star. I don’t think anyone is expecting that from him anymore. But with the massive shift in the quality of our farm system I think there is a sense that less is riding on Brinson’s success than people thought there was a year ago.
There was a long debate last season on this board about his inclusion on the opening day roster. Most of the criticism focused on starting his service time clock. In hindsight this is hilarious because now I think everyone is just hoping he has a MLB career that has some meaning for the club. He finally got that reprieve from the spotlight this season and has spent considerable time in AAA. The last time he spent this sort of time in AAA was in 2017. When you compare the two there isn’t progress For someone of Brinson’s pedigree the minors are all about preparing yourself to play in MLB. He struck out a lot more this year than in 2017. Maybe that doesn’t matter. Maybe the Marlins org. has him approaching AB’s differently than Milwaukee’s. His HR’s are down. Well, in 2017 he played in Colorado Springs which probably is good for a bump in fly balls turning into home runs. But, doubles are slightly down. Walks are exactly equal. Just scratching the surface on stats things don’t look drastically different or better for Brinson. Maybe there is underlying stuff that is more promising. His time has to be now. He’s very lucky in that there aren’t any really exciting center field options that are sitting right in front of us. There isn’t a Harold Ramirez of center field on the roster. If that were the case then I’d say he’s finished. I don’t think Mag. Sierra (remember him? Anyone?) is any competition to him. CF is a bit of a need really, which is why we had to suffer through JT Riddle playing there for so many games