Socrates Brito came to the Toronto Blue Jays as another addition to the outfield depth chart within the organization. With Brito struggling at the MLB level and with the outfield prospects in the farm system, where does Socrates fit in with team long term?
When Socrates Brito was traded into the Toronto Blue Jays, I was hopeful that he could add to the competition internally in regards to outfield depth.
Considering the Blue Jays gave up a minor leaguer in Rodrigo Orozoco for Brito, the risk really was not that high to give the outfielder a shot in the big leagues (even though Orozoco is performing well at the AA level with the San Diego Padres this year).
The reason Brito was ultimately brought in was because some of the Blue Jays outfield prospects have not lived up to the potential they were supposed to when originally drafted.
I saw the acquisition as nothing too harmless, considering I am a firm believer in competing and earning your spot on the roster.
Dalton Pompey was out of options and needed to make the MLB team out of spring training. Unfortunately, he has been dealing with concussion issues for the past few years and is currently on the IL with another concussion. Anthony Alford has been knocking at the door of the Blue Jays for the past few seasons, but has not impressed enough to make the complete jump to the major league level. He too is currently off to a rough start this year in AAA with a .169 AVG in 27 games.
Jonathan Davis has always been considered a bit of a long shot to make the team, maybe as a bench player at best. He currently is the best outfielder out of the three, with a .304 batting average with three HR’s and seven RBI. Factor in the other outfielders at AAA in Roemon Fields and Jordan Patterson, Brito is certainly not locked in on the Blue Jays’ roster.
The problem is that Brito is atrocious at the plate with a .077 average and 17 strikeouts, along with two RBI in only 17 games. He looks terrible when he steps in the batter’s box, and pitchers are making him look foolish with his late swings and easy fly ball outs.
What makes the situation even more frustrating is that the Blue Jays #9 ranked prospect Cavan Biggio has recently been taking reps in the outfield and has been crushing the ball in AAA. While he has only played two games in RF, Biggio has been blasting the ball whenever he is in the lineup with six home runs, 21 RBI’s and a .344 average.
With the Toronto Blue Jays in a rebuild, it is tough to argue why a player like Brito is still in the big leagues when Davis and Biggio, who are both younger and playing better, are still in AAA.
I understand that Socrates Brito was brought in to add to the depth in the outfield, but he is clearly not living up to the standards of what it takes to be a MLB player. I will say that his defence is not a liability like other outfielders on the Blue Jays roster, but his batting record is not making up for the average defensive abilities.
He may not even see time in the outfield with the Bisons, as Patterson, Alford, Davis, and Fields are already receiving most of the outfield reps in AAA.
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Considering the Blue Jays recently signed veteran Ben Revere and factor in Biggio getting some attention in RF, there really is no place for Brito to play if he was sent down to Buffalo.
Long story short, Brito is not an MLB calibre player and if he is, he really isn’t showing it with his time with the Blue Jays. He needs to go down to the minor leagues and figure his swing out. I believe the best solution could be that when Brito is DFA’d (and he will be, it is a matter of time) no team will pick him up and he will go down to the minor leagues and figure it out at the plate.
I think this would actually work out for both parties, as Brito could receive regular attention/reps in the outfield, and he won’t add to the strikeout totals every night while wearing a Blue Jays uniform. The reps may come at the AA level, but they are still at-bats.
While fans may argue that we should outright release or trade him, considering the Blue Jays did trade away a prospect, I want to see some return in the investment, even if it is in AA or AAA. Trading him would also probably yield a low return, so it would be easier just to keep him in the minor leagues for that added depth (again, even if it is in AA). If a reasonable trade request does happen to come along, then I have no problem shipping him out.
The only real negative aspect I see with demoting Brito is that he could take at-bats away from young prospects within the organization. Considering his fielding is not necessarily an issue, I say give him some time at the DH position and see if he can fix the swing because his at-bats are the real problem at hand.
If he still struggling in the minor leagues at the mid-point or end of the season, then cut him loose and consider it a losing trade for the home team. Until then, Brito will likely continue to don a Blue Jays uniform, whether we as fans like it or not.