Minor League Review: Reid Brignac Clawing His Way Back

By Robbie Knopf

Reid Brignac looked everything like he was done. Well, he’s not going down without a fight.

After going just 2 for 17 with the Rays to begin the season, Reid Brignac was sent down to Triple-A Durham. He has been there since. And the overall numbers are not pretty. He has posted a .208/.304/.340 line with 6 doubles, 5 homers, and 21 RBI. He has posted a solid 36-22 strikeout to walk ratio, but a .204 batting average and a .304 OBP are terrible no matter how you look at them. But that doesn’t tell you about the progress has made in his last ten games entering Friday. Brignac has posted a .333/.429/.639 line with 2 doubles, 3 homers, 11 RBI, and 1 stolen base. Note that he had 5 extra-base hits and 15 RBI in 92 games in 2011 in the big leagues. He also managed 6 walks compared to 7 strikeouts. What does any of this mean? Maybe nothing. Maybe he’s just on a hot streak and it will end and his numbers will just get worse. But keep this in mind: Brignac is still just 26 years old, and the Rays have no clear all-around option to be their starting shortstop of the present.

Elliot Johnson can’t field. Sean Rodriguez can’t hit. If Brignac has found even a fraction of the stroke that allowed him to slam 32 doubles and 24 homers back in 2006, his stellar defense might make him the best option the Rays have right now. It’s too soon to say whether Brignac has actually taken a step in the right direction. But we have to say that Brignac is doing everything he can at Triple-A right now to get one last chance to start in the big leagues for the Tampa Bay Rays. Maybe this is just a brief climb in front of yet another valley. But don’t count out Reid Brignac just yet.