Brinson smashes two homers for Sky Sox

Top Brewers prospect raises OPS to .930; Phillips hits 11th jack

Lewis Brinson sports a .930 OPS with 17 extra-base hits in 37 games this season. (Bobby Stevens/ MiLB.com)

By Michael Leboff / MiLB.com | June 2, 2017 12:54 AM

Lewis Brinson's production this season has been impressive. But what's standing out the most to his coaches is not something that shows up in the box score.

Milwaukee's top prospect hit a pair of solo homers as Triple-A Colorado Springs defeated Oklahoma City, 6-3, on Thursday night.

"So far this year, he's done everything the organization has asked of him," Colorado Springs' hitting coach Al LeBoeuf said. "He's got all the tools that you'd want and the most important one is his mind. His mind is progressing every day and getting in the right place to allow his athletic ability to take over." 


Gameday box score


"I think the mental side of my approach has been a work in progress throughout my career," Brinson added. "These past few years, I think I've got a lot better at taking it one at-bat at a time and not chasing hits. Instead, I'm just trying to get the barrel on the ball and the results will come on their own."

Coming into the game, Brinson was mired in a 5-for-28 slump. Things didn't look great out of the gate when the 23-year-old fell behind rehabbing Major Leaguer Brock Stewart, 0-2, in his first at-bat. Instead of pressing, Brinson got his balance right and sent a solo shot over the wall in right-center field.

Video: Colorado Springs' Brinson hits leadoff jack

"The thing that I saw tonight was timing and balance," LeBoeuf said. "He had a short, direct path to the ball which is something he did early on in the season on a very consistent basis. Over time he got away from it and got a little long and off balance, but he made the adjustment tonight and squared up the ball four times."

"He's been just a tick off lately," Sky Sox batting coach Ned Yost IV added. "Sometimes when things like that happen, you can start to panic, but Lewis knew what he was doing was correct and that the results would come. It's pretty safe to say he was locked in tonight."

Brinson went back to right-center in the sixth for another solo homer, this time on a 3-0 count.

Video: Colorado Springs' Brinson homers again

"I was excited to get the green light," MLB.com's No. 13 overall prospect said. "[Sky Sox manager] Rick Sweet always tells me he has confidence to swing, 3-0, especially in a game where we need a big hit. I knew [reliever Jair Jurrjens] wanted to get a strike over, and I told myself to go ahead and take a good swing at it. It's not easy to hit balls out here, especially opposite field because the wind doesn't carry that way, but I got enough of them to get 'em out of there." 

"If he continues to have that short, direct path, the point of contact is going to determine where the ball goes," LeBoeuf explained. "The pitches tonight were middle, middle-away. He just squared them up and his barrel stayed in the hitting area for a long time. The results showed it."

The 2012 first-round pick added a single to right in the ninth for his third three-hit outing of the season and his first since April 21.

In 37 games, Brinson has produced a .314/.401/.529 slash line with 17 extra-base hits, including six long balls, and 18 RBIs.

"He's done a way better job this year at commanding the strike zone," LeBoeuf said. "He's swinging at more strikes and taking the pitches that go from strike to ball. I think that's been the big reason for his success with us this season."

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Brett Phillips bashed a two-run homer, his 11th of the year, in the eighth to put the Sky Sox ahead for good. The Brewers' No. 10 prospect is hitting .302 in 47 games this year.

"I'm very happy because the organization laid out a plan in the beginning of Spring Training for Brett," LeBoeuf said. "His routine now and the way he takes his routine into the game has been very encouraging. He's an energetic guy and kind of a fast-twitch guy. Sometimes at this level sometimes the faster you go, in reality, the slower you go. So he's learning to calm down a little bit and when he gets pitches to hit, he's squaring them up."

Michael Leboff is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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