Brinson's mom, Susie, urged Lewis to keep his options open and not just settle on the University of Miami, which is close to their Coral Gables, Florida home.
"I had a visit with Florida,” Brinson said. “As soon as I walked on campus it was done. It was Gators this and Gators that. There was a Gators gas station right when we got off the interstate. I fell in love with the school. Coach (Kevin) O’Sullivan is the nicest guy I know. He’s serious about winning and that was my main goal in finding a school.”
Lewis graduated from Coral Gables (Florida) High School in 2012 with a 3.3 grade point average. He also hit .394 with four doubles, four triples, four home runs, 21 RBIs and 11 stolen bases as a senior for Coral Springs.
Brinson says baseball motivates him in the classroom, because he knows if he doesn’t have the grades, he can’t play. He’s interested in sports business and journalism and wants to be a baseball analyst one day, but for now he’ll concentrate on honing his game to be like Torii Hunter in his prime or Andrew McCutchen—two center fielders he admires. “When (Hunter) was with the Twins, nothing dropped,” he said. “McCutchen makes it look so easy out there.” (Nathan Rode-Baseball America-5/14/12)
Lewis was a Marlins fan growing up.
Brinson says, "Juan Pierre was always my favorite player and continues to be my favorite player — his speed and his leadoff mentality of just getting on base and making things happen for the team. He really took heart in making things happen and scoring runs for his team, and that's what I try to do."
- The only thing bigger than Brinson’s love for baseball is his relationship with his mother. Susie Brinson first got her son into baseball when he was 4 years old, signing him up for Little League. They have always been close, and they have relied on each other more since Brinson’s father, Lewis Jr., died of lung cancer just after Lewis III turned 11.
“She’s been the biggest help in my life,” Brinson said. “When I lost my dad, she stepped in. She’s taken time off of work to travel with me. She’s taken phone calls for me. She’s probably taking one right now. She’s been everything. I hope one day I can repay her.”
- Lewis looks like Cameron Maybin or Dexter Fowler, with a tapered frame and plenty of room to add strength. (May, 2012)
- In 2012, Brinson got drafted by the Rangers (see below).
Lewis excelled for the Arizona Rookie League-champion Rangers from the leadoff position all summer. He topped the league in runs (54), doubles (22), extra-base hits (36), total bases (124)—as well as strikeouts (74)—while showing off extreme athleticism.
In 2013, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Brinson as the 12th-best prospect in the Rangers organization. He was at #15 in the winter before 2014 spring training, and #14 in the spring of 2015. He was moved up to #2 early in 2016, behind only power-hitter Joey Gallo in the Rangers organization.
After the Brewers acquired Lewis in 2016, he was rated as the #1 prospect in their farm system in both 2017 and 2018.
Lewis is intelligent and works hard. He has very good makeup. He has that fire and he wants to be a really good player.
Brinson says, "I don't like being babied in anything. You throw me into the fire and I'll find a way to fend for myself."
When Lewis got the phone call on June 10, 2017, that the Brewers wanted him in the Majors, he was taking a nap at the apartment in Colorado Springs he had only recently shared with fellow prospects Josh Hader and Brett Phillips.
"My Triple-A manager, Rick Sweet, called me and told me to pack my bags, I was going to the big leagues," Brinson said after the Brewers lost 11-1 to the D-backs at Chase Field in his debut. "I thought I was dreaming for a second. Obviously I wasn't, and I just started packing my stuff.
"I thought it was a joke. It’s already hard to breathe in Colorado Springs, being (6,000) feet above sea level, but I couldn’t breathe for a second . . . I took like five seconds to myself to catch my breath, called my mom immediately, and we had a nice emotional time. That’s a dream come true. My mom—single mom growing up, my dad passed away when I was 11, so she’s had to raise me up through the rankings, and I had to grow up real fast—and it was really emotional talking to her. She was screaming. I was crying. She was crying. It was a very special moment for me and her. “
Brinson had a whirlwind travel day. He arrived in the middle of a June 10 3-2 loss. And as a member of the active roster, he immediately pulled on his uniform and headed to the bench.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell didn't waste any time putting Brinson in the starting lineup. When Brinson arrived at the ballpark June 11, he was listed at the leadoff spot, playing left field. "I wanted to find a spot for him today. That's what I like to do," Counsell said. "I think it's important to do that, and it's best for the player to do that. So it fit well for us today."
Brinson went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks and was credited with his first steal on the back end of a double-steal in the third inning. In his first at-bat against lefthander Robbie Ray, D-backs shortstop Nick Ahmed made a diving stop, barely nabbing the speedy Brinson at first. (Bloom - mlb.co - 6/11/17)
In 2017, Brinson represented the Brewers in the All-Star Futures game.
In 2017, Brinson was named the Brewers minor league player of the year.
Dec 6, 2018: In November 2018, the Marlins debuted new team colors, moving toward a teal and pinkish-red scheme that evokes images of Miami's vibrant nightlife. Of course, they revealed new logos and uniforms to reflect those changes, leaving everyone in need of some wardrobe updates.
As a result, outfielder Lewis Brinson did his part to make sure that Miami's best was properly outfitted with the latest in Marlins fashion by bringing a new jersey to three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade. Now that Wade is up to date with the latest fashion, the only thing left to do is decide who gets to deliver a new jersey to Miami's other G.O.A.T., Pitbull. (E Chesterton - MLB.com - Dec 6, 2018)
June 2012: The Rangers chose Brinson in the first round, out of Coral Springs High School in Coral Springs, FL. Scout Frankie Thon signed Lewis for $1.6 million.
August 1, 2016: Jonathan Lucroy was acquired by the Rangers, along with reliever Jeremy Jeffress from Milwaukee; with Texas sending Brinson, pitcher Luis Ortiz, and a player to be named later.
- January 25, 2018: The Brewers sent Brinson, SS Isan Diaz, OF Monte Harrison, and RHP Jordan Yamamoto to the Marlins; acquiring OF Christian Yelich.