- Full name Ryan Duane Brett
- Born 10/09/1991 in Seattle, WA
- Profile Ht.: 5'9" / Wt.: 180 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Highline
- Debut 04/18/2015
Drafted in the 3rd round (98th overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 (signed for $341,100).
View Draft ReportBrett is a throwback player who's fun to watch. He's always dirty, doesn't wear batting gloves and is a sparkplug who always plays at full speed. For most of the year he tried to switch-hit, but he reverted back to his natural righthanded swing as the draft drew near. He has a knack for getting the barrel on the ball, though sometimes he tries to play bigger than he is and scouts said they would like to see him embrace small ball. Brett is smallish at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, but he works out regularly with Josh Sale and is strong. Scouts are split on where he'll play defensively. Some believe he'll be able to stay at second base, while others say his actions are too choppy and the game will be too fast for him there. He's an above-average runner and could be an above-average defender in center field. The speed also makes him a terror on the basepaths, and some scouts think that if he fulfilled his commitment to Gonzaga that he could bat better than .400 and steal 40-50 bases a season. In professional ball, his ceiling would be a .285 hitter with about 12 home runs and 20 stolen bases a season. He'll likely be drafted around the third round and is considered signable.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Brett rose through the Rays system based on his feel for hitting and foot speed. In 2015, he made it to Tropicana Field, earning a shot in mid-April. After three games, a shoulder injury derailed Brett's season. He spent a month on the disabled list, and returned to Triple-A Durham in late May. Despite his statistical struggles in 2015, Brett's tools remain intact. He's a plus runner, a capable defender at second base, and he has a solid foundation for hitting, thanks to above-average pitch recognition and bat-to-ball skill. Brett's swing gets started with a late, hand-raise load, which allows him to create backspin on pitches on the inner half of the plate, but can give him trouble controlling the barrel on pitches on the outer half. The load also gives him fair raw power, allowing him to hammer doubles to the gaps, and some evaluators envision him hitting 8-10 home runs per season. Defensively, Brett's quick feet have led the Rays to try him in center field, and he may aim to develop into a utility defender to position himself for a job on the major league roster in 2016.
Brett has made a steady climb through the organization, particularly since a late 2012 suspension for testing positive for methamphetamine and an amphetamine. He spent all of 2014 at Double-A after a one-month taste of Montgomery in late 2013. Despite battling a hamstring injury for a month, Brett ranked second in the organization among full-season players in batting average and steals. A speed-oriented player with some pop, the blue-collar Brett finds a way to have success. Possessing strong, quick hands and a compact swing, he has one of the best feels for the strike zone in the organization and has strong bat-to-ball skills. He has good gap power and can drive the ball, but he also bunted for base hits for the first time in his career last year to maximize his plus speed and had excellent results. He adeptly reads pitchers, making him disruptive on the basepaths. His speed and quickness give him great range at second base. His hands are not soft but he has plenty of arm strength with good accuracy. The game continued to slow down for Brett in 2014. He is knocking on the door to the big leagues, and if the Rays try to trim payroll by dealing Ben Zobrist, Brett could get an extended look in spring training. If he opens the season in Triple-A Durham, chances are he will make his major league debut at some point during the campaign.
Brett began his 2013 season on the shelf, completing a 50-game suspension after failing a test for amphetamine use in 2012. He jumped to the high Class A Florida State League upon his return in mid-May and ranked among the league leaders in batting until his promotion to Double-A Montgomery in early August. While many focus on Brett's short stature, he gets as much out of his ability as anyone in the organization. He employs a hustling, blue-collar approach, though his Pete Rose intensity can work against him at times and his standout season came in part from a more relaxed approach on the field. He has an excellent feel for the strike zone and drives the ball consistently with strong, quick hands and a compact swing. His power is more to the gaps than over the fence. He has above-average speed and first-step quickness and displays solid instincts on the bases that could make him a leadoff hitter at the major league level. Defensively, Brett has plus range at second base with average arm strength, but he does not have soft hands and committed 11 errors in 73 games at second in 2013. While the Rays expect him to open 2014 back at Montgomery, he could push for a role in the big leagues by 2015.
Brett was putting together a solid all-around season at Bowling Green when he failed a drug test in late August, drawing a 50-game suspension that will carry over into the 2013 season. One of four Hot Rods to test positive for methamphetamine and an amphetamine in 2012, he said through his agent that the positive test was the result of taking an energy pill that contained Adderall. That was the first blemish on his pro career, as Brett has produced consistently at each of his three pro stops. Employing a blue-collar approach at the top of the lineup, he makes consistent contact, controls the strike zone and can drive the ball in the gaps with a compact swing. A switch-hitter in high school who has batted from the right side as a pro, he hits righties well but has struggled against southpaws, including a .188/.266/.217 performance last year. Brett has above-average speed and baserunning instincts to match, and he stole 48 bases in just 56 attempts last year. His quick first step and plus range help compensate for average arm strength and less-than-smooth hands at second base. When he's eligible to play in 2013, he'll make the climb to high Class A.
Tabbed by the Rays as the most improved player in their extended spring-training program, Brett continued to make strides when he headed to Princeton in June. He teamed there with Josh Sale and Drew Vettleson, fellow Seattle-area high school players selected by Tampa Bay in the first three rounds of the 2010 draft. A switch-hitter in high school, Brett had made steady contact while swinging exclusively from the right side as a pro. He repeats his smooth, compact stroke swing and controls the strike zone well. He's capable of driving balls in the gaps and puts his plus speed to work on the bases. Scouts considered Brett's defense choppy during his 2010 pro debut, and he led Appalachian League second basemen with 18 errors last year. His hands aren't particularly soft and his arm is a tick below average, but he does have excellent instincts and quickness. He also has made significant strides on his double-play pivot. Brett is a grinder with impressive drive. He'll graduate to low Class A this year to form a double-play combination with 2011 first-rounder Jake Hager.
Brett was the third of Tampa Bay's three premium picks from the state of Washington in the 2010 draft, going two rounds after first-rounders Josh Sale and Drew Vettleson. Signed for $341,100, he had a fine pro debut and consistently brought a high-intensity approach to the ballpark every day. Though he's just 5-foot-9, Brett is an offensive-minded player with plenty of bat speed. His quick, short stroke and solid knowledge of the strike zone produces line drives to all fields and should enable him to hit for average. A plus runner, he does a good job of keeping the ball on the ground to enhance his chances of getting on base. His basestealing skills are a work in progress, but he projects to swipe 20 or more bases annually. He needs to improve his bunting skills in order to take better advantage of his speed and become more of a top-of-the-lineup hitter. Defensively, Brett is rough around the edges. His hands aren't particularly soft and his actions are choppy at second base. Scouts believe a move to center field could be in his future, given his speed, potential range and average arm strength. With his athleticism and drive, Brett has the makings of what the Rays consider an ideal major leaguer. He's expected to open 2011 in Princeton but could get a shot at the full-season ranks at Bowling Green.
Minor League Top Prospects
Brett hit .303 in his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League a year ago, but the Rays kept him in Rookie ball so he could refine his defensive play at the keystone. He handled more chances than any Appy League second baseman but also committed the most errors (18) because his hands and arm strength rate as fringe-average. To his credit, Brett improved his double-play pivot and possesses the requisite quickness to play up the middle. Despite his diminutive stature--he's probably closer to 5-foot-4 than his listed height--Brett drew few criticisms for his potential as a top-of-the-order pest. "I've learned over the years that these kids will fool you," Holmberg said. "If they have heart, desire and the right chemistry, they'll surprise you. Players like Brett will filter their way as high up as they can." Brett toyed with switch-hitting as a high school senior but has abandoned it as a pro. No matter. Managers universally liked his compact, repeatable righthanded swing and trusted that his knowledge of the strike zone would enable him to continue as a solid-average to plus hitter. Only Pulaski's Jamal Austin struck out less frequently than Brett, who fanned once every 11.3 plate appearances. Stronger than he looks, Brett can juice the ball occasionally despite below-average power. He has plus speed and knows how to pick his spots to steal bases. Brett ranked third in the league with 21 steals (in 24 attempts) and with 22 doubles, demonstrating his gap power and ability on the bases
A gritty spark plug, Brett packs a lot of punch in his 5-foot-9, 180-pound frame. After destroying lesser high school competition in Washington and signing as a third-round pick, he got off to a torrid start in the GCL before cooling off in the last two weeks and finishing at .303/.364/.404. Brett has a quick, line-drive stroke that will allow him to hit for a solid average. He has a good knowledge of the strike zone as well. His above-average speed makes him a factor on the bases. Defensively, Brett needs to iron out his actions at second base. His range and speed could make him an effective center fielder if he can't stick in the infield.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive 2B in the Southern League in 2014