BRYCE BRENTZ, CORNER OUTFIELDER
Born: December 30, 1988
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 210
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: Supplemental 1st round, 36th overall pick, 2010 (Red Sox)
How Acquired: Trade (from Red Sox for cash)
College: Middle Tennessee State University
Agents: CAA Sports

WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE

Brentz’ calling card has always been his power, which scouts at times have considered plus-plus.  He generally takes a big cut and hasn’t usually had subpar walk rates and high K rates.  After two injury-plagued seasons in AAA, his hitting tailed off in 2015-16.  Brentz has had large platoon splits in the upper minors.  He continued to be hampered by injuries in those seasons as well and, ultimately, got only 90 plate appearances with Boston.  He has below-average speed and range, but a strong arm.  He played right field in his first few seasons, but since then has split his time between left and right.  The Pirates acquired Brentz from the Red Sox for cash, as the Sox needed to create roster space for J.D. Martinez.

2010
A-:  198/259/340, 262 AB, 14 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 21 BB, 76 K, 5-9 SB

Brentz struggled to make contact in his debut season.  He played mostly in right, but saw some time in center.

2011
A:  359/414/657, 170 AB, 10 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR, 14 BB, 35 K, 2-4 SB
A+:  274/336/531, 288 AB, 15 2B, 1 3B, 19 HR, 26 BB, 80 K, 1-2 SB

Brentz got his bat going, tearing up low A and continuing to hit for good power after a promotion about a third of the way through the season.  He played exclusively in right and recorded ten assists, but had an alarming total of 17 errors.  BA ranked him the Red Sox’ fifth best prospect after the season.

2012
AA:  296/355/478, 456 AB, 30 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR, 40 BB, 130 K, 7-12 SB
AAA:  118/167/118, 17 AB, 1 BB, 6 K

Except for five games at season’s end, Brentz spent the year in AA.  He seems to have toned down his swing a bit and hit fewer HRs, but he hit for average with a roughly passable walk rate.  The strikeouts continued at one every three and a half at-bats.  He again played exclusively in right.

2013
R:  235/316/706, 17 AB, 2 2B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 K
AAA:  264/312/475, 326 AB, 16 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR, 20 BB, 86 K, 1-1 SB

Brentz lost out on an invitation to major league spring training when he accidentally shot himself in the leg while cleaning a handgun.  He was able to start the season, but went out with a torn meniscus in his right knee in July.  While he played, he hit for good power in AAA, but not for a good average.  He also didn’t get on base at a good rate.  His defensive play did not get good reviews.

2014
R:  056/190/111, 18 AB, 1 2B, 3 BB, 5 K
A-:  125/200/125, 8 AB, 1 BB, 2 K
AAA:  243/341/465, 230 AB, 11 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 32 BB, 58 K, 0-1 SB
MLB:  308/308/345, 26 AB, 2 2B, 9 K

Brentz lost a lot of time to a hamstring injury, missing two and a half months.  He hit roughly the same in AAA, except for a much higher walk rate, while splitting his time between the outfield corners.  The Red Sox called him up in mid-September.  BA dropped Brentz to 21st in the Sox’ farm system.

2015
AAA:  232/308/382, 220 AB, 9 2B, 8 HR, 24 BB, 74 K

Brentz had a rough season, again missing two and a half months with a hamstring injury.  When he played in AAA, he struggled to hit and struck out at a higher rate than ever before.

2016
AA:  200/333/325, 40 AB, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 BB, 14 K, 1-1 SB
AAA:  250/278/402, 204 AB, 17 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 8 BB, 52 K, 2-2 SB
MLB:  279/313/377, 61 AB, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 17 K

Brentz had another rough season.  He missed the first month with an oblique injury, then struggled through a AA rehab and two months in AAA.  The Red Sox called him up in late June and he spent six weeks with them, playing sparingly.  In August Boston sent him back to AAA and he didn’t return to the majors.

2017
AAA:  271/334/529, 450 AB, 21 2B, 1 3B, 31 HR, 42 BB, 109 K, 1-2 SB

The Red Sox outrighted Brentz off their 40-man roster at the end of spring training and he accepted assignment to AAA.  He bounced back at the plate, leading the International League in HRs.  He also cut his K rate to a quarter of his ABs.  The Red Sox never called him up, but they added him back to their 40-man roster after the season.

Brentz will join a crowded competition for the left field job in spring training.  As of the time they acquired him, the Pirates were also considering Jordan Luplow, Adam Frazier, Sean Rodriguez and Daniel Nava — who coincidentally stood in Brentz’ way in Boston — for a starting or platoon role, or a job as fourth outfielder.  In the next two days, though, the Pirates also picked up Michael Saunders and Corey Dickerson, with the latter becoming the likely starter.  Brentz has no options left, which should have given him a leg up in the competition, but he lost out to Jose Osuna, who had a better spring.  The Pirates placed Brentz on outright waivers near the end of camp and will probably hope to retain him.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2018: Major league minimum
2015:
$508,500
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $889,200
MiLB Debut: 2010
MLB Debut: 9/17/2014
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2023
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2013
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2014, 2015, 2016)
MLB Service Time: 0.061
TRANSACTIONS
June 8, 2007: Drafted in the 30th round, 917th overall pick, by the Cleveland Indians.
June 7, 2010: Drafted in the supplemental first round, 36th overall pick, by the Boston Red Sox; signed on June 16.
November 20, 2013: Contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox.
July 30, 2015: Outrighted to AAA by the Boston Red Sox.
November 2, 2017: Called up by the Boston Red Sox.
February 20, 2018: Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.
March 24, 2018: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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