One of the toughest things for a young hitter is having patience at the plate and being able to draw walks. Someone forgot to tell Bryson Brigman that however. Only two players drew more walks than Brigman in the Northwest League last year, and a very impressive .369 on-base percentage was the result. The patience was nothing new for Brigman though, as his on-base percentage numbers were just as high if not higher in his time at the University of San Diego.
I had the chance to speak to Brigman this past summer, and he said one of the biggest keys to his success is that he's not going to the plate trying to hit home runs. He knows that's not his game (Brigman has just two home runs in the last three years) so it keeps him from swinging for the fences. Being able to know his game and abilities is a major asset and as a result Brigman knows that he needs to be selective so he can get himself on base. On the basepaths, Brigman doesn't have blazing speed but he runs well and is smart enough to be successful swiping bags, something he did 17 times last season with Everett.
Part of what makes his patience such an asset is that the 21-year-old is also a pretty darn good hitter. He finished third in hits for Short Season Everett last year, behind Cape Cod League teammate Nick Zammarelli and Northwest League MVP Eric Filia. Zammarelli and Filia were also the two main guys he was setting the table for, and he lead Everett in runs last season with 51. In the field, Brigman isn't an elite defender but he makes the plays he needs to, with an occasional tendency for the flashy plays, something he made several times this year.
On top of the actual attributes, Brigman is a competitor and even more importantly a student of the game. It's crystal clear that he loves and enjoys every single day as a professional ball player. One of the Mariners biggest organizational weaknesses is the middle infield, as outside of Brigman, Drew Jackson and Christopher Torres, the only other prospects are the raw Greifer Andrade and the minor league veteran Tyler Smith. As a result of this, Brigman could have a clearer path to the bigs, where it's likely realistic to see him by 2019 or 2020.
Staying in Everett, the prospect spotlight will go back to the bump. The next prospect spotlight will be on Division II ringer and commanding starter Brandon Millernull