Connor Donahue

2017 Red Sox 2nd-round pick Cole Brannen looks to hit reset button in Lowell

Connor Donahue
June 18, 2018 - 3:53 pm

LOWELL -- Cole Brannen was drafted out of high school in the second round of the 2017 MLB draft by the Red Sox.

Things haven’t gone exactly according to plan for the 19-year-old outfielder. Brannen spent the majority of his first season in the Gulf Coast League, hitting .231 with seven RBI’s, nine stolen bases and an on-base-percentage at .383.

Brannen was promoted to the Single-A Greenville to start this season. In 32 games, he hit just .157 with seven RBI’s, nine stolen bases and zero home runs. It seemed the sweet left-handed swing that impressed scouts during the draft process was nowhere to be found.

After 127 at-bats, the Red Sox assigned Brannen to the short-season, Single-A Lowell Spinners in hopes that he would rediscover his swing in the short season.

“[Brannen] had a tough time up in Greenville,” first-year Spinners manager Corey Wimberly said. “But he came down to us towards the end of our extended spring training and I have nothing but good things to say about the kid. He came in very humble and he hustles.”

There’s a very good chance that the time in Lowell will be the best thing possible for Brannen. At just 19 years old, he can develop more confidence at the plate and fine-tune his swing. The outfielder said last Wednesday that he believed that slump in Greenville might actually be a good thing in the long run.

“I’m glad I got in the slump I did at the beginning of the year. It only made me stronger as a person and a player,” Brannen said. “I’m really thankful for it because right now I’m super confident at the plate and it feels really good. I’m really ready to get after it.”

Things are already trending in the right direction for Brannen just three games into Lowell’s season. He’s recorded three hits in 12 at-bats along with two RBI’s, three stolen bases and an OBP of .308. Brannen credits some adjustments that have been made at the plate with his success thus far.

“Like I said, there’s a reason why I went through [the slump]. I got back down to extended spring training and hit the reset button,” Brannen said. “I made some adjustments I needed to make, and I’m really glad I went down there.”

Wimberly preached patience when talking his new outfielder and explained that he believed Lowell was the best place for the 19-year-old.

“Look I’m not sure if the lights were too bright for him. But he’s 19 years old. He’s still a kid, he’s still learning. Some kids are 19 years old and still in high school and he’s competing in professional baseball against guys throwing 99-100,” Wimberly said. “I think being [in Lowell] will help him out. I think it will help out his development, he’s on the right path right now.”

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