Scout's View: Reid Brignac
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.--Devil Rays shortstop Reid Brignac is ahead of his time in a lot of ways.A second-round pick out of a Louisiana high school in 2004, Brignac shows above average to plus tools across the board, with the makeup and instincts--Rays field coordinator Jim Hoff refers to it as ‘distinct game awareness
'--to seemingly complete the package.But for as advanced as Brignac is, the Rays aren
't in a rush to make any rash decisions when it comes to moving their prized pupil through the system. Brignac, who recently turned 20, begins his third full season at Double-A Montgomery, the same place where he finished last season, helping the Biscuits to the Southern League title.Brignac added 15 pounds of muscle to is frame in the offseason and now stands closer to 6-foot-4, prompting some scouts to wonder if he
'll be able to remain at the position. But we caught up to one American League scout who thinks Brignac should be a little bit better than OK as the Rays
' shortstop of the future:
"Oh, he can play short,” the scout said. "I don't think there's much question about that. He's pretty even-keeled for his age, and it seems like he's always played with older guys. His arm strength and range are above average. He's not Jose Reyes, but he positions himself well and it looks like he knows the game.
"Every time I've seen him--and this is kind of a lost art developmentally across professional baseball as far as infielders go--he seems to know his pitcher, seems to know at least a little bit about the hitter in different situations. He knows where he needs to be when a guy's going to throw a two-seamer, or he knows, 'OK, this (hitter) did this with such-and-such a pitch the last time he was up.' That's what makes up for what he lacks in range--it's smarts, it's that guile.
"You don't see a lot of guys today who move around a lot out there defensively unless they're told to. Brignac is a guy who you can tell is a quick study--he makes quick adjustments at the plate too, but I think a lot of it comes from understanding the defensive side as well as he does.
"He's not perfect, though. He'll rush his throws sometimes or he'll have a hard time slowing down his actions. But nothing really looks max effort, even though you know the guy is going 100 miles-an-hour all the time.
"I think he's going to have pole-to-pole power--I've seen him get into some balls with good power to left-center. And I think he's going to be a really, really solid player at short."