With their first pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft, the Texas Rangers selected outfielder Lewis Brinson out of Coral Springs High School (Fla.). He has a scholarship offer to Florida, but all signs indicate that he will be signing with the Rangers instead.
Brinson, at 6'4" 170 lbs., is a very raw five-tool prospect that projects as a centerfielder. He's been compared to players like Dexter Fowler, Cameron Maybin, and Chris Young. Some even think he has the potential to be an Adam Jones.
Brinson will certainly be an excellent defensive player. He has an above average arm and above average speed, along with very good defensive instincts.
His biggest question mark, however, is his consistency at the plate. Of course, this is always the biggest hurdle for any position player. If you're good enough to get drafted, you're probably among the best hitters at your level. The trick is translating that to the big league level.
Brinson has good, quick hands when he swings the bat, giving him some decent power for someone his size. That power potential is likely to increase as he grows into his frame over the next several years.
One thing I've noticed is his swing is a tad long, including a very high and winding leg kick, as you can see here:
A high leg kick like that will usually lead to timing issues. His foot has to get down before he can let his hands fly. He can get away with this in high school, but as the pitchers he faces get better and change speeds more effectively, Brinson could struggle with timing issues if he doesn't shorten up.
I assure you, the Rangers are aware of this and will likely begin working with him on it. If he makes it to the majors, I can almost guarantee that leg kick won't accompany him.
Brinson definitely has the talent to succeed as a hitter at higher levels, and his recent success competing in prospect tournaments shows that he can quickly adjust and perform against better competition. The key is going to be whether he can do that at each successive level as he progresses.