Few prospects have created more spring training and early-season buzz than the Texas Rangers’ Lewis Brinson. Selected 29th overall in last summer’s draft, Brinson entered pro ball with the dreaded “raw-athlete-who-lacks-instincts” tag. He quickly squashed that reputation with his debut performance in the rookie Arizona League, hitting .283/.345/.523 with 36 extra-base hits and 14 steals over 54 contests.
Brinson’s solid debut summer, coupled with his exciting potential skill set, made him the no. 6 prospect in the Texas system and no. 99 in baseball over the winter, according to Baseball Prospectus. If all goes according to plan, the center fielder could be jumping up both lists by next offseason.
Still 18 years old for a few more weeks, Brinson is currently playing with the Single-A Hickory Crawdads, getting his first taste of full-season ball. The early results have been decent, though with plenty of swing-and-miss; he’s 13-for-51 (.255) with a double, two home runs, four walks, and 21 strikeouts. He has also stolen four bases without being caught.
The two early round-trippers shouldn’t come as much of a surprise; Brinson carries well above-average raw power in his wiry 6-foot-3 frame. As the prospect matures on the field, he’s hoping for his body to follow suit. And in an effort to push that process forward, the Rangers have Brinson constantly eating.
Near the conclusion of spring training last month, I sat down with the South Florida native to discuss a number of topics, including his heavy eating habits, his nervy major-league spring training appearance, and the recent changes to his swing.