Nothing of much substance happened in the Winter Leagues on Monday. So let’s talk about Ryan Brett.
Arizona Fall League: Salt River Rafters 3, Mesa Solar Sox 2
Ryan Brett went 0 for 3 with a walk–that is legitimately all we have to go on this morning. But let’s see how far we can take this. Brett’s numbers on the AFL season are disappointing so far as he has just a .150/.303/.276 line in 49 plate appearances. But that really isn’t indicative of how well he has been doing. Brett has walked 9 times while striking out just 6 times and he has also stolen 4 bases in 4 tries. He is hitting the ball hard and bad luck is a major reason why he isn’t racking up more hits. But how long can we use that excuse? At Double-A, Brett didn’t play particularly well either, managing a .238/.289/.400 line with 6 doubles, a triple, 3 homers, 16 RBI, 4 of 4 stolen bases and a 14-8 strikeout to walk ratio in 114 plate appearances. Brett’s luck has been a little worse, but on the whole he has been playing the exact same way. It’s time to start asking the question: can Brett solve upper-levels pitching? But Brett has proven that he can even as he has struggled. Brett’s time in Montgomery saw Brett hit for more power than he has before while maintaining strong plate discipline. Maybe he was even selling out for power a little too much, trying to address his game’s biggest flaw, but the combination of solid power that he’s still harnessing with good patience and pitch recognition has the ability to take Brett far. Brett’s power is still below-average and he faces an uphill battle to be a starting second baseman in the big leagues because of that. But it’s nice to see him starting to adjust, and hopefully he can bring the power together with his strong approach at the plate to take the next step as a hitter.