Juan Brito has been tearing it up in the Guardians' minor-league system

Juan Brito has slowly become a top prospect within the minor leagues for the Cleveland Guardians. With no solid home on defense established yet, could we see him as the team's future everyday shortstop?
Cleveland Guardians, Juan Brito
Cleveland Guardians, Juan Brito / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

At the beginning of the 2024 season, prospect Juan Brito was added to the Cleveland Guardians' 40-man roster. In response, he has torched up the competition at the Triple-A level with the Columbus Clippers and made his name known within the organization.

This year has been kind to him as he's started to make drastic ground on becoming a regular player at the next level of the game. As he continues to thrive and showcase his talent, the questions start to begin on whether or not he will see time with the major league squad.

So far, in 2024, he has recorded 250 at-bats, which has translated to 63 hits, 43 RBIs, and 10 home runs. That level of production has given him a slash line of .252/.382/.814. With an OPS mark that high, he ranks 54th in the MiLB overall and second for an individual with over 250 at-bats. The only player with a higher mark? His teammate, Jose Tena.

With so much talent flooding through the cracks at the Triple-A level for Cleveland, sometimes the sparkling gems can be overlooked. Fortunately, last season, Brito was noticed right out of the gates. After being assigned to the High-A Lake County Captains, he played in 35 games and knocked 35 hits, nine doubles, and four home runs. He also drew an impressive 24 walks to just 21 strikeouts, showcasing a keen eye and a comfortable presence at the plate.

His efforts allowed him to be elevated to the Double-A Akron Rubberducks, where he, yet again, didn't miss a beat.

Over the course of 87 games, he produced a slashing line of .276/.373/.444 that attributed to 87 hits, 60 RBIs, 21 doubles, and 10 home runs. Even at the higher level of competition, his eye remained strong as he drew 48 walks.

In late September, he would be given five games with the Clippers and still looked sharp as he recorded three hits in 14 at-bats while getting on base six times due to walks. For Brito to not only thrive at the plate with his bat-to-ball skills but also be effective at drawing walks, he has certainly put opposing pitcher's eyes on him each game.

MLB Pipeline best describes his abilities at the plate as, "A switch-hitter, Brito controls the strike zone and makes consistent contact from both sides of the plate. Though he's a strong 5-foot-11, 202-pounder with the ability to pull pitches and drive them in the air, there are questions about his power potential. His proponents think he hits the ball hard enough to provide 20 homers per season, while other evaluators see more fringy pop and note that 27 of his 31 long balls in his first four seasons came as a left-handed hitter. "

If he can manage his power and translate it into good contact at the plate for the remainder of the 2024 season, there is a very good chance that the Guardians could give him the nod in September or October. This would give the major league roster time to relax and regain form ahead of the postseason, while also giving Brito a chance to prove himself ahead of next year.

As he continues to shine in Triple-A alongside the likes of prospects Jhonkensy Noel, Jonathan Rodriguez, Tena, and others, the future is looking bright for the 22-year-old infielder.