Lewis Brinson, the Milwaukee Brewer’s top-prospect, is scheduled to make his MLB debut today when the Brewers play the Arizona Diamondbacks. The highly-touted outfielder was called up from Triple-A yesterday, after the Brewers placed infielder Jonathan Villar on the 10-day disabled list.
Brinson is scheduled to bat leadoff and play left field.
Brinson takes the place of long-time Brewers’ left fielder Ryan Braun, who is on the disabled list with a calf injury.
Here’s what you need to know about the 23-year-old MLB rookie:
1. Brinson Was a First Round Draft Pick In 2012
The Texas Rangers selected Brinson with the 29th pick in the first round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. Brinson received a $1.625 million signing bonus.
Brinson made his professional debut with the Arizona League Rangers where he batted .283/.345/.523 with seven home runs in 237 at-bats in 54 games. In 2013, Brinson made the jump to Single-A. Brinson only batted .237, but hit 21 home runs with 52 RBIs in 237 at-bats.
In 2014, Brinson split time between Single-A and the Rangers Advanced-A team, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Brinson hit .288/.354/.458/.812 with 13 home runs, 50 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. In 2015, Brinson split time between Advanced-A and Double-A before being promoted to the Rangers’ Triple-A team at the end of the season for eight games. Brinson demolished minor-league pitching, batting .332/.403/.601/1.004 with 20 home runs, 69 RBI’s, and 18 stolen bases in 398 at-bats.
Brinson began the season at Double-A Frisco and batted .237/.280/.431/.711 with 11 home runs, 40 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases, before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers.
2. Brinson Came to The Brewers In The Jonathan Lucroy Trade
Brinson came to the Brewers as the centerpiece in the Aug. 2016 trade that sent catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the Texas Rangers. The Brewers sent Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress to Texas in exchange for Brinson, right-hander Luis Ortiz and a player to be named later.
Lucroy was a long-time Brewer who came up with the organization. He had the rest of 2016 left on his contract, along with a team-friendly $5.25 million option for 2017. Lucroy proved valuable to the Rangers, who won the American League West and led the A.L. with 95 wins. Lucroy batted .276/.345/.539/.884 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs in 142 at-bats after the trade.
Third basemen/outfielder Ryan Cordell ended up being the final player that Milwaukee received in the trade. Ortiz is the Brewers’ 4th-ranked prospect and Cordell 16th. Cordell is batting .294/.363/.518/.882 with 9 home runs and 39 RBIs for Triple-A Colorado Springs. Ortiz is 3-3 with a 3.02 ERA and 49 strike outs in 53.2 innings for Double-A Biloxi.
3. Brinson Has Been Tearing Up Pitching In The Minors
This year, at Triple-A Colorado Springs, Brinson batted .312 with 6 home runs, 25 RBI’s, 41 runs, 7 stolen bases and .900 OPS in 173 at-bats.
After joining Milwaukee’s farm system, Brinson hit .382/.387/.618/1.005 with 4 home runs, 20 RBIs and 4 stolen bases in 93 at-bats for Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2016. The Brewers added him to their 40-man roster after the season.
4. Fantasy Baseball Experts Have Already Made Projections For Brinson
According to CBS Sports, Prior to the season, Brinson was ranked as the 12th best prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus. Baseball America had him at No. 20 while MLB.com had him 13th. He’s a consensus top-20 prospect.
MLB.com said of Brinson, “Few players in the Minors can match Brinson’s power and speed ceiling, the combination of which could make him a 30-homer/30-steal threat at maturity.”
5. Brinson Is The Third Brewers’ Top 30 Prospect Called Up In The Last Week
The Brewers called up both pitcher Josh Hader and outfielder Brett Phillips from Triple-A earlier in the week. the trio of Brinson, Phillips and Hader were a big reason the Triple-a Colorado Springs Sky Sox have a three game lead in their division.
Hader pitched a scoreless inning of relief with 1 strikeout in his MLB debut on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He went 3-4 with a 5.37 ERA and stuck out 51 batters in 52 innings with the Sky Sox.
Phillips is 2 for 9 for the Brewers so far. He batted .297/.369/.589/.957 with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs in 175 at-bats with the Sky Sox.
Brinson was robbed of a hit by SS Nick Ahmed in his first MLB at-bat. He singled and stole a base in his second at-bat.