Socrates Brito forced his way onto the Arizona Diamondbacks big league club as a backup OF, but with A.J. Pollock going down to injury, does Brito now become a must have waiver wire add?
The D’Backs and fantasy owners alike, were hit with bad news today as A.J. Pollock was diagnosed with a fractured right elbow and will miss at least half the of the season. Pollock’s breakout last season had many fantasy owners investing in a repeat performance in 2016, and Arizona banked on him and Paul Goldschmidt anchoring the middle of the lineup. But, as we all know, injuries can drastically change plans.
It is nearly impossible to find any replacement that can match the, 20 HR/39 SB, season that Pollock posted last season but they do have guy that shares a similar type of dynamic skill set. That guy goes by the awesome name of, Socrates Brito, and based off his success over the last few seasons in the minors, Brito could emerge as a fantasy asset.
The 23-year-old Dominican Republic native, looked to be entering the 2016 season as a backup OF after absolutely raking in the spring, .303/1 HR/7 RBI/3 SB, over 70 at bats. The D’Backs signed him when he was only 17, so they have clearly been enamored with his tools for some time.
Socrates Brito’s calling card is his speed. Since 2011, Brito has averaged at least 23 SB per season and his aggressiveness on the base paths is a welcome sight. While Brito can play all three OF positions and can clearly run, the D’Backs where waiting for his hitting to match his other strengths. He is no slouch at that plate as he is a career, .288 AVG/.741 OPS hitter in the minors, but the team still saw more upside in his bat.
There still seems to be more untouched power potential, but over his last two minor leagues stops Arizona had seen enough to the point where he got a cup of coffee with the club last season. In 2014, he hit .293, posted 38 SB, notched 10 HR, and had 35 XBH, at the A+ ball level. The following season in AA he was able to repeat his success, while also facing off against tougher competition, as he posted a, .300/9 HR/57 RBI/20 SB/.790 OPS/32 XBH, line.
Based on his development the last few seasons in the minors, his great spring showing, and the fact that he still possesses plus speed, Brito shapes up to be a must add waiver wire selection for week 1. Even without Pollock, the D’Backs lineup should be able to score runs, and Brito’s counting stats should be solid with him batting in the middle or at the top of the lineup. Brito may lose a couple of starts this week to Chris Owings, but Brito is clearly the better offensive player and the D’Backs will make sure he gets his at bats.
While he will have to adjust to MLB pitching and still has his struggles against lefties, fantasy owners could have just been gifted a 10 HR/30 SB threat at the perfect time. If Socrates Brito comes out and has a solid first week of the season, expect him to fly off the waiver wire as he will become every “experts” favorite pickup. Prevent being left out in the cold, and take a chance on Brito by snatching up now as it is simply a low risk/high reward gamble that could pay huge dividends.