Lewis Brinson entered 2021 knowing this was probably his last chance as a Marlin. After all, he had already received multiple chances and things had not panned out for him at the plate. In 654 plate appearances between 2018 and 2019, he was a .189/.238/.294 hitter with more strikeouts (194) than games played (184).
In his first 14 games of 2020, it didn’t go too different than that: .107/.219/.143 with 10 punchouts in 32 at-bats.
BUT he finally turned things around last month. Since August 25, over his last 24 games, he owns a .364/.375/.618 slash line with a .993 OPS. In 55 at-bats, he’s registered 20 hits with five doubles and three home runs, along with 10 runs batted in and 11 scored runs. He’s added three stolen bases in the same number of attempts.
Brinson also adjusted his mechanics. Now he has a more uppercut swing that has allowed him to increase his launch angle and develop a notably better exit velocity. Take a look at the following stats:
From August 4-23:
- Exit velocity: 86.1 MPH
- Launch angle: 3.7º
- Hard Hit%: 27.8%
- Slugging%: .143
- Isolated power: .036
From August 25-September 19:
- Exit velocity: 89.4 MPH
- Launch angle: 9.2º
- Hard Hit %: 41.5%
- Slugging %: .618
- Isolated power: .255
Those adjustments have helped Brinson to have one of his best seasons in his four-year career in the Majors: .277/.318/.458 in 38 games and 88 plate appearances, with 11 ribbies, 13 runs, six doubles, and three four-baggers. Those numbers might help him get another chance for 2021.
The question here is whether it is sustainable or not. During his recent successful stretch, he registered a high .447 BABIP yet doesn’t own such a high exit velocity to think it’s not entirely due to luck.
Another aspect of his game Brinson needs to work on is his plate discipline—he chases a lot (45.1 percent chase rate) and has a 16.4 SwStr percentage since August 25. Even though he’s making more contact now (71.3%), he’s not getting walks (1.8%).
It seems Brinson is still working on his swing, but his recent numbers are an encouraging sign for the speedy 26-year-old.
Juan Pierre on Lewis Brinson: "Most guys would give up. This guy kept plugging along...He just stayed with it and now the fruit of it is coming." #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/k5gIsNsxcw— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 17, 2020