Houston Astros: Reid Brignac Trying to Become a Switch-Hitter
By Cory Farr
The Astros signed journeyman infielder Reid Brignac to a minor league deal in December in an attempt to bring in some infield depth.
Signed as a left-handed hitter, the 31-year-old veteran is now attempting to become a switch hitter. Reid Brignac, a career .219 hitter, came to major league camp this spring with little chance to make the team. But it turns out that he has a trick up his sleeve for this club.
The nine-year veteran is attempting to maximize the amount of at bats he receives, as well as lengthen his career. He could absolutely use a boost in performance against left-handed pitching. He is hitting an abysmal .161 in his career against lefties. As opposed to his .230 average against right-handed pitching.
Brignac has spent time all over the league. He has played for Tampa Bay, Colorado, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami and the New York Yankees in his career. Part of the reason that he has never been able to lock down a spot on any certain team is his inability to hit lefties. But he is hoping to change that trend this time around and nail down a permanent spot on the Astros’ roster.
He will most likely not be able to make the big league squad out of spring training. But with his versatility as a utility infielder, his situation becomes very intriguing if injuries come in to play at the big league level. He will be especially interesting to watch if the switch-hitting experiment becomes a successful one.
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So far this spring, he is one-for-four from the right side of the plate. The video above, courtesy of MLB.com, shows him collecting the first right-handed hit of his career on Thursday. A single up the middle on a 1-2 fastball off of the Washington Nationals’ Sammy Solis. Brignac then stood on first base following the hit and sported a giant smile as he celebrated with his teammates and asked that the ball be thrown into the dugout. If nothing else, he seems to be enjoying this new challenge in his career.
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com**