Once upon a time, Reid Brignac was a highly regarded prospect for the Rays. He made the Baseball America Top 100 Prospect list from 2007 through 2010, ranking as high as 17th in 2007. Throughout his minor league career, he hit well, flashing very good power with a high of 24 home runs in 2006. As a shortstop, that was a tremendous amount of power in the minors, and he appeared destined to be a good major league player.
Unfortunately, his minor league success never translated to the majors. He split time between shortstop and second base in 2010, putting together a mediocre .256/.307/.385 batting line. However, he was still only 24 years old, and did manage to hit eight home runs. It may not have been great, but that season could have been a decent enough point to build from. Yet, that did not happen. Given the starting shortstop role in 2011, he struggled all year, putting together an absolutely abysmal .193/.227/.221 batting line, with a single home run. As bad as that was, he was even worse in his 22 at bats in 2012, leading to his being exiled back to Durham.
Then, in the offseason, Brignac was sent along to the Colorado Rockies, a team that appeared to have a need for a backup middle infilder. Given the uncertainty of the Rockies second base situation and the possible brittleness of Troy Tulowitzki, it appeared as though Brignac could get a chance to get himself on track. He cracked the Rockies Opening Day roster, and made apperances at third, short, second and left field this season.
Now, just one day after he hit his first home run as a member of the Rockies, Brignac has been designated for assignment, as Colorado called up prospect DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu was in the midst of tearing apart the Pacific Coast League, posting an insane .364/.405/.510 batting line, and playing excellent defense. It made sense for the Rockies to bring him up.
So, what of Brignac? A former top prospect, he is only 27 years old. However, he has yet to prove that he can hit major league pitching, and be anything more than a quintessential AAAA player. He may find himself in AAA for yet another team, filling an organizational depth role and ready to be called upon in case of emergency, but that may be his ceiling now. It is a hard fall from grace for someone who, just three or four years ago, was thought of as someone that could be a key player on a contending ballclub.
Reid Brignac had his chances to become a major league player. Now, he may never get another opportunity.