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2021 Marlins Season Review: Lewis Brinson

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Another season, another weak performance for the 27-year-old outfielder.

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images

2021 Timeline

  • After making the Opening Day roster, Lewis Brinson was sent to the alternate training site on April 11.
  • He was called up again on April 20.
  • On May 7, he was battling with a sore left middle finger, but came back to action two days later.
  • The finger issue sent Brinson to the 10-day injured list on May 18.
  • Brinson was reinstated from the 10-day IL and optioned to Triple-A on June 3 just to be called up the day after.
  • From June 7 to July 19, Brinson was moving back and forth between Triple-A and the bigs.
  • On August 26, Brinson collided with Bryan De La Cruz in left center field, which caused him a left thumb sprain. He missed a few games before returning to the field on the 31st.

By The Numbers

In his fourth season with the Marlins, Lewis Brinson flashed some good signs with his bat. But in terms of overall rate stats, he was almost the same, mediocre player that he was a year ago.

In 89 games, Brinson just couldn’t hit consistently. He struck out 72 times across 274 at-bats, recorded 14 doubles, nine home runs, 33 runs batted in, and a .226/.263/.376/.639 slash line. He put up a -0.1 bWAR.

The 27-year-old had his most productive run for a brief 13-game period in August. He slashed .396/.442/.750, thanks to 19 hits over 48 at-bats with five doubles, four home runs, and 17 runs batted in. However, he undid those good vibes by posting a .167 batting average in his final 38 games, with 31 strikeouts, five extra-base hits, and only eight ribbies.

Brinson continues to carry large platoon splits—he hit poorly against righties (.212/.244/.342) while doing most of his damage off lefties (.256/.302/.444).

If I had to point out a positive aspect of Brinson’s game, I’d mention his career-high average launch angle of 14 degrees and the fact that he struck out at a career-low rate (24.8%). Plus, his whiff percentage is trending in the right direction:

2017—37.4%

2018—34.1%

2019—32.8%

2020—30.8%

2021—31.3%

Highlights!

Will Lewis Brinson Be Back?

At this point, I doubt the Marlins will give Brinson a fifth opportunity with their big-league team. The outfielder should be among their strongest non-tender candidates, assuming they can’t find a trade partner.

Brinson is eligible for arbitration for the first time and could remain under club control through the 2024 campaign. It’s just hard to imagine the Marlins giving him salary increases for those years when he still fails to get on base regularly and they have talented youngsters at the same position who show more potential in that department.

We could be weeks away from the end of the Brinson era in Miami as this franchise focuses on completing their rebuilding process.