In the 2010 MLB Draft, Boston hoped to score big when they took a top power prospect in the draft — Bryce Brentz. Brentz has since risen through the ranks of Minor League Baseball and recently made it to the big league level.
On Wednesday September 17, Brentz made his MLB debut as a pinch hitter. He ripped a double down the right field line in his only at-bat of the day.
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“It’s a dream come true,” Brentz said as he spoke to reporters after the game. “I think every player [who] comes up always wants to get their first [hit] out of the way. I was more than happy to do that.”
Brentz also made his first big league start on Sunday. He went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
As a player, Brentz has solid plate discipline and hits with an abundance of power. It is clear though, the right-handed Tennessee native excels against lefties.
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Hitting .288/.354/.685 in 73 at-bats against southpaws this year in Pawtucket, Brentz clubbed eight homeruns and 12 extra base hits in all out of 21 total hits. That may seem like a small sample size, but his .630 slugging percentage off lefties in 2012 acts as further support, especially when he smacked 11 homers in 119 at-bats.
Yes, his two hits this year are off lefties, so it is no wonder how he got them. Brentz is 2-for-3 in his big league career off southpaws, and 0-for-3 off northpaws.
A linebacker in high school, Bryce Brentz may be the exact opposite of the Red Sox last dirt dog outfielder who played high school football — Trot Nixon. This is because, although Nixon crushed right-handed pitching, he was helpless against lefties.
More realistically, Brentz may be the second coming of Jonny Gomes. Eight years younger while commanding one-tenth the cost of Gomes, Brentz may be the perfect replacement for the void trading Jonny Gomes left on the Boston Red Sox.
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The Red Sox could use some assistance when it comes to hitting lefties. Daniel Nava is hitting .164 off southpaws this year and Yoenis Cespedes is not much better sporting a dismal .200 average.
As a rare specimen who has hit 35+ home run power in the Minor Leagues, Brentz could potentially serve as a platoon player as early as next season.
Before the 2012 season, Brentz was rated the No. 64 best prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com.