Daniel Alejandro Brito
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 170 lb.
Infielder Daniel Brito was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an international free agent on July 17, 2014. One year later, he began his professional career with the DSL Phillies where he hit .269 in 60 games. In 2016, he moved over to the GCL Phillies where he hit .284 in 47 games. He had a first rougher patch in 2017, when he played full-season ball for the first time with the Lakewood Blue Claws of the South Atlantic League, where he hit .239 with an OBP of .298 in 112 games. Still, there was some positives with the season, given he was a regular while two and half year younger than the league's average age.
After playing for the first time in the Venezuelan League with the Aguilas del Zulia, where he hit .273 in 16 games while playing against fully grown men, he was back with Lakewood to start 2018. After 92 games, he was promoted to the Clearwater Threshers of the Florida State League. His combined line between the two stops was .252/.307/.342 in 119 games. He usually batted near the bottom of the batting order, and therefore had relatively few runs and RBIs. In 2019, he played a full season with Clearwater, where he hit .243/.296/.325 in 103 games, with his defensive play being his best asset. He then had to sit out the 2020 season when the minor leagues were shut down by the Coronavirus pandemic and returned to action with Zulia in the winter of 2020-21. He hit .277 in 38 games, and the improved hitting carried over to the U.S., where he opened the 2021 season in the Double-A Northeast with the Reading Fightin' Phils. He hit a solid .296/.363/.457 in 63 games to earn a mid-season promotion to AAA and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
In the midst of his best professional season, on July 31st, he suffered a medical emergency during the first game of a doubleheader against the Rochester Red Wings, as he began to lose his balance and was caught by the opposite third base coach. He was administered oxygen and evacuated by ambulance. The Phillies announced that he was in stable condition at a local hospital, but there was no word has to what had caused the problem. The problem was later revealed to have been a brain hemorrhage, and he required two brain surgeries to correct the problem, spending two months in the intensive care unit. He was in a coma for a span and needed to use tubes to both breathe and be fed, was paralyzed on his left side and lost 50 pounds. But he made it through and started physical therapy in October. At first, the goal was simply to be able to lead a normal life again, but he quickly exceeded those targets, and by December he began working on making it back to baseball. The Phillies supported him throughout the ordeal, flying in his mother from Venezuela and ensuring his girlfriend could be by his side, while renewing his contract to ensure he continued to receive medical insurance. In March of 2022, he made it back to the Phillies' training complex in Clearwater, FL and given he passed his medical exam, he was cleared to start taking part in drills. he still had a long comeback ahead of him, but siply having made it back so far so quickly was something of a miracle.
- Todd Zolecki: "'It's a miracle': Brito begins return to baseball: Infielder endured brain hemorrhage, coma in second half of 2021", mlb.com, March 8, 2022.