Vidal Brujan, 2022 Fantasy Outlook

I forgot I included Vidal Brujan in my top 100 2nd half rankings, and, honestly, that made me laugh a lot. Hey, he sucked me in like he was Myles of Straw. No shame in that, I’d do it again if I had the chance. At the backend of the top 100 for the 2nd half, you gotta go risky ishkabibble vs. safe whose-he-whatsies. Vidal Brujan was called up right before the break last year, so I figured we were about to see a prince and I was the Kingmaker. I wasn’t even playing checkers, and still missed. C’est la vie, as Ty France says. It was kinda weird how the Rays played Brujan this year. Called him up out of seemingly nowhere, then they let him rot on the bench and demoted him almost as quickly as they promoted him. Though, this reminds me of what I said in my Shane Baz fantasy, the Rays have no problem promoting rookies, they just don’t retain them when they have to pay them. So, what can we expect from Vidal Brujan for 2022 fantasy baseball?

Have you seen Vidal Brujan’s Triple-A numbers? I mean, holy el oh el’s, Batman. Or should I say Brujman? Brujan Wayne? Meh, we’ll figure it out later! He went 77/12/56/.262/44 in 389 ABs. That is honestly hilarious. Did he win the Triple-A MVP, because he should’ve. Actually, is there a Triple-A MVP award? Meh, ya know what, don’t answer, I have enough in my brain. My Brubrain? Hey, forget the portmanteaus, Grey! Those stats are so sexy, no wonder I had Brujan as a lead buy this year one week in July. Here’s what I said, “The big takeaway from my fantasy take on Brujan is what Prospect Itch said about him, “It’s rare enough for a 40-steal player to enter our game. Even rarer to find one who hits enough to earn himself regular playing time. Rarer still to find one who speaks five languages. I mention this last piece because language learning requires the same determination needed for the grind of baseball. You’re going to make mistakes. Might look like an idiot. Might often feel dumb. But you have to keep putting yourself out there. And as long as you stay positive and focus on the long term, you can improve a little bit every day. In 2014, Tampa signed Brujan out of the Dominican Republic for $15,000. He was illiterate at the time. Now: five languages. Grey can’t speak one.” And that’s me quoting me quoting Prospect Itch! By the way, we’re so lucky to have guys like Itch, aren’t we? Makes my nightmares where he’s stalking me through dark alleys well worth it!

40 steals is rare, as Itch said, and it’s even rarer from someone in Triple-A. Because no one in Triple-A should be in Triple-A long enough to steal 40 bags! Never the hoo! That’s not on the Rays so much in this case, because they did give him an opportunity while Margot was hurt, and he *raspberries lips*. So, why should we expect different in 2022? Are you effing with me? I’m not going to quote back at you all the superstars who have come before who failed in their first run in the majors, but they are plentiful. Hall of Famers amongst them. Guys don’t always click the first go-around. Brujan had a 30.8% strikeout rate in his 10-game trial run in the majors, and he might have a strikeout rate that’s half of that when he’s fully comfortable. He’s not a “struggle with contact” guy. Who knows when it will click for Brujan at the major league level, but he could absolutely be an everyday starter for the Rays out of camp and on the short list for Rookie of the Year. Dot dot dot. Or hit .180 in spring and need a change of scenery by July with a trade to the Rockies, where he’s considered a backup for the next eight years until he signs on to coach in the KBO. For 2022, I’ll give Vidal Brujan projections of 51/6/43/.238/18 in 387 ABs with a chance for way more or way less. Stamp him highly risky bet and take the gamble or not. Your choice!

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