Dodgers sign infielder Jose Brizuela

It was announced on Wednesday, August 8 that the Dodgers have purchased the contract of 24-year-old third baseman Jose Brizuela from the Florence Freedom of the Independent Frontier League.

Brizuela was born in Maracay, Venezuela, later moved to Florida and graduated from Archbishop McCarthy High School in Fort Lauderdale.

He was first selected out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds in the 46th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft but chose not to sign.

Following his graduation from High School, Brizuela played three years at Florida State University. In his junior year with the Seminoles he hit .321 along with a .406 OBP, 14 stolen bases and 38 runs batted in.

He was selected in the 2014 June Draft by the Oakland Athletics in the 16th round and this time did sign, beginning his professional career with the AZL Athletics on June 20, 2014 in a game against the AZL Angels. He had a base hit in his only at bat in the game.

During the 2015 season Brizuela played 109 games with the Beloit Snappers, the A’s Low Single-A affiliate in the Midwest League, where he posted a .270 batting average and a .358 OBP along with 11 home runs and 56 runs batted in.

Jose Brizuela
(Photo credit – Craig Wieczorkiewicz)

He followed up in 2016 with another good season hitting .254 in 100 games with the Stockton Ports of the California League along with an OBP of .337. He continued to demonstrate good power hitting 16 home runs and driving in 54 runs with 39 per cent of his hits going for extra bases.

Following the season Brizuela was name an Organizational All-Star at third base by the parent Athletics. That was a highlight of his three-year minor league career with a major disappointment on its way when he was released on April 4, 2017 by the Stockton Ports. The reason for his release was of course not specified, but speculation was that he was backed up behind three third basemen: 24-year-old Ryon Healy, 23-year-old Matt Chapman and 22-year-old Renato Nunez.

On April 7, 2017, it was announced that Brizuela was welcomed aboard by the Florence Freedom of the League Frontier, a move pleasing to Freedom manager Dennis Pelfrey.

“Jose is a very polished left-handed hitting infielder,” Freedom manager Dennis Pelfrey said. He added that Brizuela has “the ability to play anywhere in the infield and be a force in the middle of the lineup providing protection for (Andrew) Godbold and (Collins) Cuthrell.”

He earned a spot as a Frontier League All-Star and his performance helped propel his team to the top in the West Division of the Frontier League. In 73 games with the Freedom, the 6’0”/180-pound Brizuela batted .321 with a team-leading 13 home runs and 59 runs batted in while playing third base.

His Florence manager who had welcomed him aboard was pleased that Brizuela had attracted the attention of the Dodgers but also no doubt had some regrets in losing him.

“We’re very happy for Jose, as he’s proven that he is the player that got him drafted by the A’s (in 2014),” said Freedom manager Dennis Pelfrey. “He’s been a big part of our success for sure, and we will miss him. We wish him the very best in his future with the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Jose Brizuela was immediately assigned to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League and made his debut with the Quakes on Wednesday evening with a double and a walk in three plate appearances.

He will have an opportunity to face the Stockton Ports – from whom he was released – when they visit LoanMart Field for a four-game set beginning on August 14.

 

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One Response to “Dodgers sign infielder Jose Brizuela”

  1. Bluenose Dodger says:

    On Thursday evening he had three hits in four at bats.

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