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Rays prospect spotlight: Second baseman Ryan Brett

A down season for the second baseman

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Brett made his pro debut, but that may be the only good thing from his season.
Brett made his pro debut, but that may be the only good thing from his season.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Positive in 2015: Ryan Brett made his MLB debut this season and got a double for his first hit.
Negative in 2015: Pretty much everything else. Nothing but optimism here at DRaysBay.

Ryan Brett's poor season could easily be chalked up to a separated shoulder he suffered late in April. It kept him out for more than a month and he never seemed to be all there this year. He did start to flash as the season went on, but it wasn't anything like his 2014 when he had a .303 average and 122 wRC+. He did show some signs of life later in the season, hitting .287 during the season's final month. Hopefully that hitting carries over into 2016.

Brett projects to be a slap hitter with plus speed in the majors. He has drawn comparisons to Jose Altuve of the Astros and Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox since he has "a compact swing and quick hands to make consistent hard contact, turn on a ball and drives the gaps well," as Tony Capobianco of AXS puts it. Brett won't hit a lot of home runs, but he still has strong gap powers that his plus speed can turn into triples.

In the field, Brett fits the bill of a second baseman. His arm and glove are both average, but is "still somewhat error-prone," according to John Sickels of fellow SB Nation Site Minor League BallBaseball America ranked him as the best defensive second baseman in the Southern League after his 2014 stint in Double A, so should be apposite for the job.

In 2016, Brett has a chance to grab the starting second baseman job if Logan Forsythe should be traded. Spring training will be the time to see if Brett can continue his hot hitting that capped off the minor league season in September. If Brett can't win the starting position, then he can still come off the bench or get some more at-bats at Durham before he will most likely be called up to the majors again.