In a system that includes headliners like Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena it can be difficult to stand out amongst Tampa Bay’s crop of prospects. Vidal Brujan has managed to make his presence known since signing for $15,000 in 2014 though. He has proven his ability to get on base thanks to his ability to hit to gaps and patience to take walks when given to him. While he lacks the power to drive the ball over the fences with much frequency, his plus bat speed and contact oriented swing make him a difficult out. Once he reaches base the switch-hitter is a threat to advance quickly. In his five minor league seasons with the Rays Brujan has stolen one hundred fifty-one bases, including fifty-five in 2018 across Single and High-A. Brujan’s value doesn’t just come from his .294/.377/.417 career slash line though. He’s a versatile defender as well. He was a shortstop when they first signed him but was moved to second shortly after. Due to the Rays infield logjam, the organization had Brujan work out of center at their alternate site in 2020. His above average arm and elite speed make center look like the best fit but he still needs to work on his accuracy as he has a tendency to rush his throws. As he continues to work on his outfield skills, the flexibility will help him find his way up to the big show. Whether he ends up at second or center though, Kieth Law predicts he has the ability to be an All-Star at either position.
Brujan made his first Bowman Chrome appearance in 2020 Bowman after already spending four years on the Rays farm. The hobby wasn’t as quick to embrace the speedster as they were some of his minor league teammates. It’s tough to compete with the number one overall prospect and the breakout star of the 2020 playoffs. The average value of Brujan’s first Bowman Chrome autograph card is $65.21 which is down 26.5% since the beginning of June. The market for 2020 Bowman #CPA-VB has been one of peaks and valleys. Buyers appeared in force at the beginning of last season but declined sharply and suddenly as games were played. When Brujan was added to the playoff taxi squad there was another sudden leap of interest but that cooled off quickly when he failed to make any in-game appearances. Over the offseason his sales numbers and averaged value remained consistent, if not particularly strong. The issue for Brujan is that his skillset is not one that is highly valued by collectors. Getting on base and moving over may help his team produce runs and occupy the defense but it won’t generate many highlight reel at bats. The only eye popping numbers he’s likely to produce would be in the stolen base column which are not valued as highly as they used to be. Brujan will likely develop into a very productive leadoff hitter that will do a good job setting the stage for the Rays. I’m sure he’ll gain a fanbase. But I don’t believe he’ll gain much appreciation by the wider hobby. Therefore, if you’re looking for your collection to gain a significant amount of value, there are better players to add than Vidal Brujan.