ESPN’s Aaron Boone: Brito emerging as a potential Rookie of the Year candidate

Mar 14, 2016, 11:06 AM | Updated: 12:18 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks' Socrates Brito watches his RBI double against the Los Angeles Angels during t...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Socrates Brito watches his RBI double against the Los Angeles Angels during third inning of a spring baseball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tuesday, March 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LISTEN: Aaron Boone, ESPN MLB analyst

Through seven games this spring, Socrates Brito is making a case for himself to be on the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Opening Day roster.

Entering play Monday, Brito is hitting .450 this spring while driving in five runs. He hit his first home run of Spring Training on Saturday in the Diamondbacks’ 9-5 win over the San Francisco Giants.

He’s battling Yasmany Tomas for the staring left fielder spot, and if he does earn it, ESPN MLB Analyst Aaron Boone thinks it could shape up to be something special for the Diamondbacks.

“I think he has all the makings to be a really good player, like a rookie of the year caliber player if he gets that opportunity,” Boone told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf on Monday. “I really think the light went on for him in the second half of the season. He played in the Futures Game and he really tore it up in the second half of the season.”

The 23-year-old Azua Azua, Dominican Republic native spent most of his time last season for Double-A Mobile where he hit .300 with nine home runs and 57 RBIs in 129 games. He was called up to the Diamondbacks and appeared in 18 games, hitting .303.

“I think he has the chance to be a good hitter, but defensively there’s versatility there. He runs very well so he’s kind of like that all-around player,” Boone said.

Players like Brito, Phil Gosselin and Brandon Drury are reasons why Boone said he is becoming a little more bullish on the Diamondbacks’ chances this season.

“The options that are starting to emerge for the Diamondbacks in the old depth game have gone really well,” Boone said. “They are accumulating some major league-ready hitters and position players that I think have a chance to impact their season already.”

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