By: Wessel Brocken
Aah, Bryce Brentz. The other Bryce drafted in the 2010 draft’s first round. He was a highly regarded college bat and a lock for the first round coming in, but an ankle injury prevented that, helping him fall to the Sox in the supplemental round. In 2009, he led the NCAA in batting (.465), homers (28), slugging (.930) and total bases (214) as Sun Belt Player of the Year. He was also a pitcher in college, throwing mid 90s, so that explains his strong arm in the outfield.
Brentz is a player with plus power potential who projects as a solid right fielder, even though he committed a fair share of errors this season. He struggled last year in Lowell, managing a meager .598 OPS, and fell off the radar a little because of that. Brentz struggled with breaking balls and the transition to wooden bats, like many debuting pro players.
Bryce has rebounded very well this year: sporting a .365/.424/.660 line with 10 home runs and 10 doubles. He’s right up there with Bryce Harper and Bryce Massanari as the best hitters in the South Atlantic League. But to be fair, Brentz is 4 years older than Harper and that’s why he isn’t in the national spotlight. Brentz ended a impressive 26 game hitting streak on Monday -his on base streak was 35 games, a Greenville franchise record- . He has to improve his BB rate, since he walked only 14 times so far. Bryce managed more hits (57) on the young season than all of last season (52) in roughly half the PAs.
A promotion to high A Salem seems to be case sooner rather than later. That’ll be a good test for him. Right now, he’s outplaying the younger competition by a wide margin. Bryce Brentz definitely has the ceiling of becoming a Major Leaguer. He is still far from the Big Leagues, but he could be a fast riser if he proves he can hit advanced pitching.