Player to Watch: Reid Brignac

Player to Watch: Reid Brignac

Despite Spring Training just beginning, it is hard not to notice the impressive numbers posted by Rays prospect Reid Brignac through the first few games of Spring Training.  In 20 AB’s, Brignac is batting .500 with 13 RBI’s. 

Brignac is capable of having a breakout season in 2010.  He has appeared on prospect lists for 3-4 seasons.  Signed out of Louisiana, Brignac ideally projects to hit 18-25 home runs while batting around .270.  He struggled in the upper levels of the minor leagues, which is perhaps due to lack of opportunity and not already being called up.  Regardless, last season’s .250 batting average is worth mentioning. 

This season, depending on how Joe Maddon positions his lineup, Brignac might get his chance.  The wild card is Ben Zobrist, who can play second base or right field.  Ironically, that means Brignac’s primary competition for the starting position is outfielder Matt Joyce.  If Brignac has a great spring, it will convince Maddon to play Zobrist in right field, giving Brignac a lineup spot.  Another factor is fellow infield prospect Sean Rodriguez, who is also competing to become the Rays’ second baseman. 

If Brignac begins the season in a starting role, he is worth between $8-10 in keeper leagues.  If he makes the roster a reserve, he is worth $2-3 as a backup with upside.

Here are several other early Spring Training thoughts.  The Mets’ Ike Davis is off to a great start.  Davis is a first base prospect who is a good under the radar prospect.  He will probably begin 2010 in AAA, but look for him to get the call soon.  Nationals prospect Ian Desmond has also been impressive this spring.  Many believed Desmond would open 2010 as the starting second baseman before the team acquired Ian Kennedy.  Desmond will move into a starting role by early summer if he continues to impress.  I read a discouraging report about Dayan Viciedo being criticized for lack of hustle.  I still believe report of Viciedo’s prospect demise are premature, but I was not enthusiastic about the report.  J.P. Arabencia is starting off well this spring in Toronto.  Arabencia’s prospect status declined after last season’s disappointing numbers, but assuming those stats improve, the rebuilding Jays will place him in the lineup in lieu of newly-acquired Catchers John Buck and Jose Molina.