If/when the 2020 MLB season is played, minor league outfielder Socrates Brito will be an intriguing player for Pittsburgh Pirates fans to monitor
If there is a 2020 MLB season, the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield, at least to start the season, is set. Bryan Reynold will be in left field, Jarrod Dyson in center field, and Gregory Polanco in right field. However, like every position, depth will be key in the outfield.
One of these potential key depth pieces for the Pittsburgh Pirates will be Socrates Brito. The Pirates signed Brito to a minor league contract on December 17. This came on the heels of Brito seeing MLB time with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019 and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018.
Brito saw 43 plate appearances with the Blue Jays in 2019. In these 43 plate appearances struggled to a .077/.163/.128 slash line and a -23 wRC+. However, at the Triple-A level it was a different story.
With Triple-A Buffalo, Socrates hit for a .282/.328/.510 slash line with a .228 ISO and a 107 wRC+ in 428 plate appearances. Factor in his 12.9% extra base hit rate, and his power certainly turned heads during his time with the Buffalo Bisons.
The 2018 season was much of the same for Brito. While he slashed just .175/.227/.250 with a 27 wRC+ in 44 plate appearances for the Arizona Diamondbacks, he raked in the minor leagues.
At the Triple-A level in 2018, Brito had 478 plate appearances. In these 478 plate appearances he slashed .318/.383/.540 with a 140 wRC+ and a 13.1% extra base hit rate. As was the case a year later, the left-handed hitting outfielder had his power stroke going at the Triple-A level in 2018.
So, if there is a 2020 season, what could it entail for Brito?
If the 2020 season is played, Brito will start the season with Triple-A Indianapolis. However, whenever the time comes that the Pittsburgh Pirates need a bench/outfield bat, Brito could be the first call they make. Especially if he continues his career norms of raking at the Triple-A level.
Brito’s ability to hit for power is intriguing. Especially with it coming from the left side. Teams are always looking for left-handed power. Plus, PNC Park is built for left-handed power hitters such as Brito.
While the Pirate outfield is set to being the season. If the season is played, odds are, Dyson will be traded whenever the trade deadline occurs. This would open up an outfield spot, a spot Brito could seize with a strong season at Triple-A.
Part of what makes Brito intriguing are some of his advanced numbers at the MLB level. Despite owning a strong 31.6% hard contact rate at the MLB level, his batting average on balls in play in 218 MLB plate appearances is just .218. With a BAbip this low, combined with a strong hard contact rate screams of a hitter that has been victimized of bad luck in his career.
Outfielder Socrates Brito will be an interesting minor leaguer for Pirate fans to watch in 2020. While he will start the season, if it is played, at the Triple-A level, he could very possibly reach the MLB level in 2020. If he can get his power numbers from Triple-A to finally translate to the MLB level, he could become a quality hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates.