2014 Phillies Report Card: Reid Brignac
A bit more than a decade ago, Reid Brignac began his professional baseball career with plenty of promise. A second-round pick of the then-Devil Rays in 2004, Brignac flirted with top prospect status after an excellent 2006 saw him chip in a .321/.376/.539 line between two levels as a shortstop at age 20. Not bad, huh?
That would be the pinnacle of Brignac’s minor league career and, to spare the details of a long journey in the interim, Brignac wound up signing a minor league deal with the Phillies in November 2013, ostensibly as Chase Utley/Jimmy Rollins insurance. When Freddy Galvis decided to contribute two hits in his first 46 PA with 12 strikeouts, Brignac found himself back in the Majors quicker than he might have pictured.
Things started off great! Brignac had a .258/.329/.409 line in his first 74 PA with the Phils, getting a bunch of starts at third base after Cody Asche injured his hamstring in late May. Things were looking up, at least as far up as this strained neck of a team could manage.
Reid Brignac is unstoppable.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) June 12, 2014
A week after that tweet, Brignac proved very stoppable, injuring his ankle in a strange play at first base against the Cardinals. He would miss nearly a month and, after returning, would make only one more start, go 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts and two walks and eventually wound up outrighted back to Triple-A.
Brignac was a depth signing, and contributed as such: he had a few extra base hits, struck out way too much while playing passable defense and, in the end, didn’t make much of a difference on a team that wound up going nowhere. Much more isn’t expected from players who only make the prorated minimum during their stints in the Majors, but unlike some other players whose contributions look palatable in short bouts of playing time, Brignac’s contributions basically boil down to one really good week.
In six games from June 11-17, shortly before his injury, Brignac went 9-for-23 (.391) with three doubles, a triple and a homer. He even stole a base, for good measure. Outside of that week, Brignac contributed -.711 WPA and was an overall negative-win player for the Phils.
That one week was cool, though.