Cleveland Guardians prospects: Is Juan Brito's future at third base?

Juan Brito is a top prospect for the Cleveland Guardians with no true defensive home, so why not consider him the team's third baseman of the future?

Cleveland Guardians Photo Day
Cleveland Guardians Photo Day / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

What do the Cleveland Guardians do with Juan Brito?

It's a question the organization is no doubt asking itself, especially as the 21-year-old infielder now sits on the 40-man roster.

As always, the Guardians are flush with middle-infield prospects, but Andrés Giménez will occupy second base for years to come. And Brayan Rocchio - or Gabriel Arias, if he finally gets it all figured out at the major-league level - are certainly looking to make a case for the shortstop gig.

So where exactly does Brito fit into all of this? It's an interesting conundrum for the Guardians. Clearly the team values Brito, who was acquired from the Rockies in the Nolan Jones deal.

Across three levels in 2023, Brio hit a combined .271/.377/.434 with 14 home runs, 31 doubles, and 75 RBI in 555 plate appearances. He has gotten off to a slow start this spring, with no hits in his first eight at-bats, but he was always going to start the year at Triple-A Columbus and likely stay there for most, if not all, of the season. Chances are, he'll continue to climb the rankings of the best second-base prospects in baseball this season.

Could Juan Brito's Future Be at Third Base?

Yes, there is currently someone occupying third base for the Guardians. But given Brito's age and the possibility that José Ramírez might play a little more DH in his future, it would make sense to see what Brito can do at the position, especially if Rocchio and Giménez will continue to block his path to playing time (for now at least - there's no guarantee Rocchio becomes a reliable full-time major leaguer quite yet).

Clearly Cleveland is wondering the same thing, as Brito has already been seen at short this spring, making a few dynamic plays that has made this a possibility worth pondering just a little bit more.

That being said, most scouting reports refer to Brito as a "bat-first prospect," who lacks elite defensive skills and, still, a true defensive home. But his is a bat the Guardians would absolutely love in the lineup, so they'll figure out a way to get it there. Turning Brito into some sort of super utility guy, able to play all over the infield, only increases his value more.

But in the long run, the Guardians are eventually going to need another third baseman - yes, it's true - and it's not like Cleveland is just brimming with third-base prospects at the moment, aside from maybe the recently acquired Deyvison De Los Santos. So, honestly, why not Brito?