Gary Brown | CF, 25 yo, 6-1, 190, BR, TR | 2010 Draft – 1 (24) | (AAA) 137 G, 608 PA, .231/.286/375, .660 OPS, 13 HR, 17 SB, 11 CS, 33 BB, 135 K
Most of you know the story on Brown, so I’m not going to beat a dead horse. Former top prospect who seems to have lost his way, both at the plate and on the base paths. The numbers tell the story, and they’re a bit alarming. He’s seen his OPS drop from .925 in San Jose to .731 in Richmond, and again to .660 last year in Fresno. Whether it’s his hitting mechanics or his mental approach to the game, something just doesn’t seem right. It sure didn’t help that Brown was literally the only outfielder in Fresno last who didn’t get a chance to help the big club (as Dr Lefty pointed out a while back).
I’ll say this about Brown: For his sake, I hope he doesn’t read what’s being written about him out there. Just or unjust, most of it’s not pretty. But I also hope he knows that the majority of this fan base is on his side, hoping like hell he becomes the player we once expected him to be. Yes, he’s got long odds… but so does every other prospect in baseball. He’s a former 1st round pick who the organization has a lot of money invested in. Eventually, I believe he’ll get his chance… but he has to improve his play for that to happen. Will he be a major league starter? I’d say that’s up to him. When he plays to his potential, he’s got game-changing abilities all over the field. That, my friends, you cannot teach.
The quote below from Bobby Evans almost perfectly sums up my own feelings about Brown. For a guy with his skillset to produce the kinds of numbers he did in Fresno last year, it’s almost like he went to the plate with a completely different mindset. Hitting 8 HR in a month (like Brown did in June) can certainly do that to a player. If Brown is going to succeed at the next level, he’ll need to get back to what got him to this point in the first place. Hit the ball into the gaps, run like hell on the bases, and impact games with your defense and arm. Just my lowly opinion, but I think that’s Brown’s ticket to The Show. Will he punch it? That’s the question everyone wants to know. Let’s hope 2014 is a redemption year for the kid. He sure needs it.
They said it: “He’s not as far away as you might think…Historically he’s a player who doesn’t strike out a lot…He’s got to get back to being who he was. He’s a player who’s got to take advantage of his speed and put the ball in play, and not hit it in the air so much.” ~ Bobby Evans, Giants Assistant GM