Today Keith Law unveiled his mid-season top-50 prospects list, with three Rangers making the cut.
Unsurprisingly, Joey Gallo has ascended to the top prospect in the organization (#18 overall), as Jorge Alfaro (#31) and Lewis Brinson (#48) round out the troika.
With Gallo and Alfaro as Texas's two most well-known potential superstars, accordingly I've already exhausted my fair share of words on them. To date, though, I haven't dedicated much space to Brinson, which may or may not have to do with the fact that he's been hurt for a sizeable chunk of 2014. In Tepid Participation's Notes From The Farm series on LSB, he briefly mentions, "Upon his return from the DL, Lewis Brinson was unconscious (.410/.486/.770) in the month, which is why he's now a Pelican," and since Lewis's promotion to Myrtle Beach he's hit at a .258/.281/.387 (84 wRC+) clip in an excessively small collection of plate appearances.
Brinson is only 20, and a young 20 (5/8/94) at that. Repeating at Low-A Hickory to begin the year, he beasted on Single-A pitching (.335/.405/.579, 170 wRC+) to the extent he had nothing left to prove. A former 5th round pick with loud tools, Law's projection of Brinson is about as optimistic as I've seen since he was drafted:
He improved across the board this year, as a good player should when repeating a league, and earned a promotion a week ago to high-A Myrtle Beach. Even if Brinson were to strike out 30 percent of the time in the majors, he has the defense and power to be an extremely valuable regular, 3-4 WAR a year or more depending on what other value he can provide with the bat.
Like über prospect Joey Gallo, Lewis Brinson's Achilles heel up until now has been his high strikeout totals. In 2013, Brinson had a higher K rate (38%) than even Gallo, but he also proved his prowess roaming center field -- where his true value lies -- and displayed above-average pop (21 HRs in 503 PAs) in the historically pitcher-friendly Sally League.
Not every prospect is going to turn into Mike Trout or Andrew McCutchen, but it's promising for Texas that they have two potential cornerstones in Brinson and Alfaro -- who play premium positions up the middle -- to tagteam with Gallo, who looks to have a realistic shot of being a true middle of the order bat.