What About Bryce Brentz?

BRYCE BRENTZ

Going 9-for-25 in Spring Training and 8-for-26 in the big leagues last year as a September call-up, Bryce Brentz showed plenty of promise while he was up with the Boston Red Sox in 2014, but will be given little opportunity this season.
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Slated to start off 2015 in AAA Pawtucket, Brentz likely will not be given much of a shot to crack a spot on the Red Sox Opening Day Roster because the outfield is so crowded as it is. As of now, the team already needs to trade an outfielder before Opening Day (most likely Allen Craig) and send their starting center fielder for the bulk of last season down tobryce brentz the Minors (Jackie Bradley Jr.).

Away from all of the competition, Brentz will be able to prove why he deserves to play in the big leagues— if he is able to stay healthy this season. These past two years, he has been limited to just 145 Minor League games, including rehab, but he has shown off excellent power.
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Power is the reason why the Red Sox drafted Brentz in the first place and, given that he has smacked 29 home runs in his last 145 MiLB contests, his power is still a serious threat and could help the Red Sox out down the road this season.

Against lefties is where Bryce Brentz thrives. The former high school football linebacker dominates lefties and blasted eight home runs in 73 at-bats against southpaws for the Paw Sox last season. Historically speaking, he has always hit significantly better off of lefties, making him a viable option as a platoon player. After all, he did collect four hits in seven at-bats off of lefties in the big leagues last season.
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If Brentz is able to show off his power and stay healthy in a full season not only should he be able to blast 30 home runs for the Paw Sox next season, but he should find himself in consideration for a job as a platoon player. Since Boston is filled with talented outfielders, if he is not given a shot in Boston, there would be other teams interested in his services.

Had the Red Sox not signed Hanley Ramirez, his chances of cracking the roster would be better since Daniel Nava, who would have been the starting outfielder, struggles greatly against southpaws— he has hit just .159 off them last year.

Don’t Forget About Quintin Berry

quintin berry

As Spring Training approaches, the Boston Red Sox already appear to have a major problem—way too many outfielders and a suspect, at best, starting rotation. Questions lurk around the five guys who will be starting on a regular basis in Boston. Where is the ace? How long before they tank? Why did they pay Justin Masterson $9.5 million? What about the outfield?
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The Red Sox have a plethora of outfielders—too many in fact. It is clear that one outfielder in particular (likely Allen Craig) will have to be dealt as the team condenses down to 25 men in April for Opening Day, but it is unclear what Boston will receive in return as they seem to have their heart set on going into the year with a hand-picked rotation.

Even when an outfielder is dealt, the team will still have plenty of depth at the position. Not only will they have three guys on the bench who can play all three positions (including Brock Holt), but they will also have talent down in Pawtucket.
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quintin berryThe three starting outfielders projected for the Paw Sox this season are Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz and Quintin Berry. While Bradley is an excellent defender, Brentz is a powerful hitter who clobbers lefties and Berry is a serious stolen base threat; the team’s three viable call-up options and Boston will have choices depending on the scenario.

Back in 2013, Berry, who is a perfect 25-for-25 in MLB stolen base attempts from 2012-2014, helped the Boston Red Sox win a World Series as a pinch runner on the post-season roster. Despite only being used once the rosters expanded, he found his way onto the playoff roster as the team no longer needed to carry five starting pitchers.

Currently, Berry is not on the 40-man roster and has no options remaining. If the team does in fact turn to his services—they will need to do so wisely. If they need to call him up and send him back down, they are out of luck and he will be exposed to the waiver wire where someone will surely bite.
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September will roll around eventually and if Boston finds themselves in a similar situation as they were in back in 2013, do not be surprised to see his number called once again—whatever it may be.

Bryce Brentz Making Big League Impressions

bryce brentzIn 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.