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2013 Colorado Rockies Player Reviews: Reid Brignac

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Ultimately, Reid Brignac may be part of a future trivia question: which two players started at third base in Nolan Arenado's rookie season before Arenado was called up?

In retrospect, it is difficult to imagine the Rockies willingly started Reid Brignac at third base over Nolan Arenado
In retrospect, it is difficult to imagine the Rockies willingly started Reid Brignac at third base over Nolan Arenado

At one point, Reid Brignac was supposed to be a cornerstone, the two-way threat teaming up with Evan Longoria on the left side of the Tampa Bay infield. The left-handed hitting shortstop was among Baseball America's top 100 prospects for four consecutive years from 2007-10 on the strength of his bat, peaking at #17 in 2007. He debuted at 22 in 2008 and posted an OPS+ of at least 92 the next two seasons with Tampa with steady and improving defense.

From there, Brignac fell apart. By 2012, he was in the minor leagues as a failed prospect. As he was out of options in March, the Rays designated him for assignment. Despite strong showings in 2012 from Josh Rutledge and Chris Nelson, the Rockies elected to acquire Brignac, perhaps emboldened by their thrifty pickup of a similar player the previous year in Tyler Colvin. Brignac made the Opening Day roster, along with Jordan Pacheco and Jonathan Herrera as reserve infielders.

Brignac actually started strong with the Rockies. He singled in his first at-bat, as a defensive replacement, then racked up two hits, including a double, the following day in his first start. He would double in his next start as well, which would buy him starts at second base, third base and shortstop.

With seven infielders on the roster, though, his playing time was sporadic. Three April errors cost him playing time, and his bat considerably cooled. He made just two starts in May before being designated for assignment on May 16, the day after he hit his lone home run in a Rockies uniform, in favor of the surging DJ LeMahieu.

The Rockies dealt Brignac to New York, where he performed worse than Tyler Colvin did for the Rockies. He barely lasted a month with the beleaguered Yankees before they attempted to outright him to AAA. Brignac refused that assignment and re-signed a minor league deal with the Rockies and finished out the season with the AAA Sky Sox.

The Rockies did not get their late-bloomer find or random surge with their Brignac lottery ticket. In fact, he was below replacement level. He filled his role about as expected until LeMahieu and Arenado staked claim to half of the Rockies starting infield.

Grade With Rockies: D+

2013 - Reid Brignac
29 48 4 12 3 0 1 6 3 13 0 0 .250 .294 .375

Reid Brignac - 2013 WAR Bat (R)
Field (R)
Baserunning (R)
Overall (W)
Fangraphs -1.8 -0.7 0.3 -0.1
B Reference -2.0 -4.0 1.0 -0.5
B Prospectus -0.1 -0.3 0.0 -0.1


Reid Brignac is eligible for minor league free agency. He clearly felt comfortable in the Rockies organization, choosing to return after being dealt to the Yankees, but there is no assurance that the Rockies will want him back. As Brignac will be 28 next season, his days of earning major league at-bats on promise of years past is likely over. It is unlikely he will play a role with the Rockies next season, or perhaps any other team, without a major transformation in AAA or Japan.

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