Boston Red Sox prospect Bryce Brentz homered in his second at-bat for the Red Sox in a split squad game on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles. In the overall scheme of things, it might have seemed like it was a minor accomplishment in the middle of spring. But, for Brentz, it was something far more.
Brentz has spent part of his off-season recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, one that was suffered in mid-January when he accidentally discharged a hand gun while cleaning it. It left Brentz having to recount the story of shooting himself in the upper left leg once the story went to the national media.
It’s too bad, because Brentz can play. He is also one of the few prospects in the entire Red Sox organization that can be viewed as a power threat. In 2011, at two different levels, Brentz hit 30 home runs. Last season, again over two different levels, Brentz hit 17 home runs and reached Triple-A by season’s end. It has been a pretty quick ascension for the 24-year old.
In a smaller market, Brentz might have come to camp this spring with a chance to win a job on the major league roster. Instead, the Red Sox signed Jonny Gomes to a two-year contract.
Lost in all of this is that the Red Sox seemed disappointed with the situation and offered a public rebuke of the prospect by rescinding Brentz’s invitation to spring training.
So the home run meant something, to Brentz and potentially to Red Sox management.
Maybe it was a lesson learned. Maybe he can help the 2013 Red Sox squad. Maybe this situation will turn out to be a positive in the development of Brentz and other top prospects.