Lewis Brinson Scouting Report --
At the #29 spot in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Rangers selected 6'4", 180 lb. outfielder Lewis Brinson, a righthanded hitter and thrower out of Coral Springs High School in Florida. One of the things multiple reports said yesterday was that Brinson has as high a ceiling as any high school outfielder in the draft. He gets high grades for tools and makeup, but got dinged significantly for his actual performance, which is why both Baseball America and Keith Law had Brinson ranked in the 50s.
The plusses on Brinson are that everyone agrees he's an above-average runner, thrower, and defender, and the sense is that he's someone who can stay in centerfield in the majors, although it sounds like his arm would also play in right field. He also has impressive power potential. The minus is that he has major questions on his hit tool. ESPN gave him a 20 on his current hit tool, which is as low as it gets, and even their future projection on his hit tool is below-average. At least one report I saw indicated that some teams were not even considering Brinson in the first two rounds because of his poor hit tool.
He is, like many of the position players the Rangers have targeted of late, a high-risk, high-reward player, a guy who could, if everything clicks, turn into a star, but who is much more likely to never hit and to end up not panning out. In this regard, he falls in the same category as recent Ranger draftees Zach Cone and Jordan Akins, as well as Ranger trade targets Greg Golson and Engel Beltre. Targeting players like this requires a level of confidence in your player development people's ability to teach the great athlete how to hit, as well as a level of confidence that you'll be able to produce some other useful players with non-premium picks, since you're likely to end up with fewer major league contributors going this route.
Ultimately, if you're a fan of high-upside picks and are willing to accept the high miss rate for the possibility of a huge return, you should be excited about this pick. If you're looking for someone who is more likely to contribute or who you know will hit enough to progress up the minor league food chain, this isn't the guy for you.