- Full name Reid Michael Brignac
- Born 01/16/1986 in St. Amant, LA
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 197 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Saint Amant
- Debut 07/04/2008
Drafted in the 2nd round (45th overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2004 (signed for $795,000).
View Draft ReportBrignac is a solid third-round talent, and the Yankees are said to have even stronger interest, but his strong commitment to Louisiana State may cause him to slide. A center fielder in the past and a shortstop this spring, Brignac projects as a pro third baseman or corner outfielder. He generates a lot of bat speed from the left side and drilled a long homer off Walker in late April. Brignac's loose, athletic build (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) leaves plenty of room to add strength, and he runs well. He finished his high school career by hitting .417-11-58 and helping St. Amant win the state 5-A championship.
Organization Prospect Rankings
With the Rays drafting Tim Beckham No. 1 overall in 2008 and Jason Bartlett blossoming into an all-star in 2009, it might be easy to overlook other shortstops in the organization. But Brignac hasn't let that happen. He has been an International League all-star and received big league cups of coffee in each of the last two years, playing capably for the Rays when needed. Considered an offensive-minded player early in his career, Brignac has worked hard with the leather and become one of the top defensive shortstops in the minors. He has excellent quickness and above-average arm strength, and he does an excellent job of directing the defense. He has good pop for a middle infielder and uses the entire field. Brignac is an aggressive hitter who needs to show more plate discipline. He starts trying to pull the ball during slumps, which usually exacerbates the problem. More quick than fast, he's not an effective basestealer, getting caught in half of his 14 attempts in 2009. The lone complaint about his defense is that his range to the right is merely average. After two years of Triple-A seasoning, Brignac is ready to prove himself at the game's top level. Blocked by Bartlett, he'll probably have to settle for serving the Rays in a utility role this year.
Brignac has struggled at times with his hitting since winning MVP honors in the California League in 2006. Nevertheless, he received his first big league callup in July and earned International League all-star honors despite missing most of August after an errant pitch broke his wrist. Brignac has made impressive strides with his defense over the past two years. One of the premier glovemen in Triple-A, he has a solid arm and good quickness. He also has shown plus power for a middle infielder and the ability to use the entire field. A good athlete, he possesses above-average speed and an excellent feel for the game. After going 0-for-10 in the big leagues, Brignac hit only .188 the rest of the way because he started trying to do too much at the plate. He has struggled with his patience in the past and needs to improve his approach so he can reduce his high strikeout totals and increase his on-base percentage. He tends not to trust his hands at the plate and becomes pull-happy. His range to his right is fringy. Caught in between big league starter Jason Bartlett and Tim Beckham, Brignac has little opportunity to be the Rays' shortstop of the present or future. Unless he's used as trade bait, he's probably destined to repeat Triple-A in 2009.
After breaking out and winning the Rays' minor league player of the year award and high Class A California League MVP honors in 2006, Brignac continued to make impressive strides last year despite not maintaining the same gaudy numbers. He played all season in Double-A at age 21 and paced the Southern League with 91 runs, 52 extra-base hits and 228 total bases. Brignac's advanced approach to the game makes him a solid contributor in all phases. He improved his plate discipline and bettered his ability to hit offspeed pitches by making adjustments with his setup and load. He uses the entire field and has plus power that really stands out for a shortstop. His speed and defense are solid. Brignac reduced his whiffs by shortening his swing with two strikes last year, but he needs to continue to trust his hands and resist a tendency to become pull-happy. Though he has good body control, his range is just adequate at shortstop and he struggles at times with balls hit right at him. He's still growing into his body and making improvements with his footwork and quickness. Tampa Bay's trade for Jason Bartlett eliminated any need to push Brignac even more aggressively. Projecting as an offensive-minded shortstop, he'll get a full season at Triple-A before challenging for a big league starting job in 2009.
Brignac grew two inches and added 15 pounds of muscle last offseason, and his increased strength and stamina resulted in one of the biggest breakout performances in the minors. He was named MVP and rated as the No. 1 prospect in the high Class A California League, hit well after a promotion to Double-A and won the Rays' minor league player of the year award. Brignac has strong hands and good bat speed. He stays through the ball at the plate and drive pitches to all fields, and also has natural loft in his swing. He should be good for 25-plus homers on an annual basis. There were concerns that he might outgrow shortstop, but he eased them in 2006 and continued to show plus arm strength. His makeup is exceptional. After committing 70 errors over the last two seasons, Brignac needs more consistency with his defense, particularly his throwing. While he has solid-average speed and quickness, he has yet to parlay that into his baserunning. At the plate, he needs to reduce his strikeouts and improve his knowledge of what pitchers are trying to do to get him out. Brignac has the talent and the intangibles to be Tampa Bay's starting shortstop within the next two years. He's likely to return to Double-A to start the season with a promotion to Triple-A Durham at midseason a possibility.
Brignac's first full season wasn't as spectacular as his 2004 pro debut, but he more than held his own against older competition in the low Class A Midwest League. The Devil Rays believe he answered any questions about his ability to play shortstop with a strong showing in all phases of the game. Brignac has a live bat with a sweet, smooth swing from the left side. Balls jump off his bat and he has natural loft in his stroke. He could produce 25-plus homers annually down the road. Brignac uses the entire field and has a plan at the plate. His speed, arm, hands and footwork are solid. He showed the mental toughness to handle a challenging assignment last year. Some scouts think Brignac lacks the athleticism to stay at shortstop, though Tampa Bay will give him every chance to prove otherwise. He's discovering plate discipline. He gives away too many at-bats, which led to 131 strikeouts in 2005. While his baserunning is improving, it still needs work. Brignac has made impressive progress at a young age. Plans call for a promotion to high Class A Visalia this year.
After Brignac led St. Amant High to the Louisiana state 5-A championship, the Devil Rays signed him away from Louisiana State for $795,000. He homered and drove in five runs in his first pro game, and went on to rank as the fourth-best prospect in the Rookie-level Appalachian League. Brignac is an aggressive hitter with outstanding hand-eye coordination and good strike-zone judgment. His exceptional bat speed should produce plus power down the road. His above-average arm strength, good defensive actions and athleticism should enable him to play anywhere on the field. Though scouts project Brignac to eventually outgrow shortstop and move to third base, the Rays believe he can stick at short. He shortened his arm action during instructional league. At the plate, he tends to become pull-conscious. Brignac has an advanced approach at the plate for a player fresh out of high school. The Rays will send the natural line-drive hitter to low Class A Southwest Michigan for his first full season.
Minor League Top Prospects
Brignac is one of the best shortstop prospects in the minors, but he's blocked by all-star Jason Bartlett in Tampa Bay and has Tim Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft coming up behind him. One of the best shortstop prospects in the minors, Brignac hits for a solid average and has good lefthanded power for a middle infielder, though he doesn't draw many walks. He gets into trouble when he becomes homer-conscious and adds too much length and uppercut to his swing. He's at his best when he shortens his stroke and focuses on making hard contact. He has solid-average speed but isn't a big basestealing threat Once considered primarily an offensive shortstop, Brignac steadily has improved in the field and managers rated him the league's best defender at his position. He has good range and solid arm strength, and he can make both routine and highlight plays. "He has as good defensive instincts as anyone I've seen," Allenson said. "If the Rays don't want him, I'll take him."
Once regarded as an offensive-minded infielder, Brignac was a unanimous pick by the managers as the IL's top defensive shortstop. He has plus range, hands and arm strength, and he committed just 12 errors in 92 games. He still can hit, too, allowing him to profile as a quality starter on a contending ballclub. Brignac shows solid plate coverage and a willingness to go with the pitch, though he's susceptible to hard stuff up and in because he has a little lift to his swing. His strike-zone discipline regressed this year and he was inconsistent, but he still projects as a .280 hitter with average power. He has good athleticism and average speed.
While Upton, Longoria and Jones have better tools, Brignac tied for the SL lead with 52 extra-base hits and quietly put together another strong season. He overcame a two-month slump that saw him bat just .218 in May and June, highlighting his inconsistency. Brignac's pure bat speed is solid-average, which means he must hone his approach in order to maximize his hitting ability. He got pull-happy and tried to lift the ball too frequently this summer, and he occasionally lacks patience. He has solid-average power that can develop into a plus once he learns to stay back and trust his hands. He knows how to use the whole field and hit for average, as long as he avoids trying to hit home runs and lets his natural feel for hitting take over. Most scouts believe Brignac can remain at shortstop, but the jury is still out. A fringe-average runner, he has good body control, adequate range and an average, reliable arm. His .963 fielding percentage was a career best.
Not only did Brignac grow two inches in the offseason, he worked hard with a personal trainer to add 15-20 pounds to his frame, allowing him to increase his power output from 15 homers a year ago to 24 between the Cal League and Double-A Southern League. Brignac is three months younger than Gonzalez, and he won league MVP honors even though he was promoted in August. Brignac did commit 27 errors in 100 Cal League games, but scouts have become more convinced that the growing 6-foot-3, 203-pounder can remain at shortstop. He has enough arm strength for short and is learning to get into better fielding position on ground balls. If he moves, Brignac figures to have plenty of bat for a corner position. He has a very quick lefthanded swing and an aggressive approach, though he has learned not to chase as many breaking balls out of the zone. Brignac also earns plaudits for his makeup. "He wants to learn," said Bakersfield manager Carlos Subero, who managed Brignac in the California-Carolina all-star game. "I didn't know him until the all-star game, but he came up to me and asked how he was swinging, which is unusual. You don't see a kid ask other managers about his swing."
Though Brignac couldn't approach the .378 average he put up in his pro debut, he held his own as a teenager in low Class A. He had one of the best lefthanded strokes in the league, with natural loft that bodes well for his future power. He reminded Beloit manager Kevin Boles of top Yankees position prospect Eric Duncan, who played in the MWL last year. While Brignac is a free swinger, he does use the whole field and his approach should mature with time. He's athletic with average speed and a solid arm, but scouts say he'll have to move off shortstop. Third base is likely his future destination, with the outfield and second base also possibilities.
Just 18, Brignac announced himself to the league with a home run and five RBIs in his debut. He didn't homer again, but showed an advanced approach for a player fresh out of high school. He should add power as he fills out. Brignac goes after pitches early in the count and can be pull-oriented, but he shortens his swing with two strikes and hit well against both lefthanders and righthanders. He makes good use of his hands and owns a fluid stroke. "He got eight hits in three games against us and basically beat us singlehandedly with five hits in one night," Bristol manager Jerry Hairston said. "He's a wiry-type guy with a line-drive swing, but he can take you deep if he gets the right pitch." Brignac displays good actions defensively. His arm rates above average, though it played average as he tired near the end of the year. The presence of B.J. Upton at shortstop in Tampa Bay and the likelihood that Brignac will outgrow the position mean that he'll probably move to third base in the future.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010
- Rated Best Defensive SS in the International League in 2009
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009
- Rated Best Defensive SS in the International League in 2008
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008