I shouldn't even be writing this one. It's probably not worth your time. There are few people who have even heard of Brett Brown outside Southeast Texas. But, this is one area where my day job and this job will cross.
Brett Brown is a strikeout machine. The first time I saw him, it was in a playoff game, in his first-ever varsity start in the first round of the playoffs. Brown struck out 17, mixing a decent fastball in with an absolutely brutal slider he was able to throw consistently down and away.
It absolutely ate hitters up. Coming into this season, though, Brown didn't even know if he'd be a starter for the Bulldogs. He thought he might be sent back to his closer role, which he inhabited for much of the previous season.
Brown stuck in the rotation, and preceded to strike out 164 batters in 13 starts this season. I don't have the exact inning count for him, but I think it was around 85 IP for the season. That's pretty good.
The secret for Brown is that slider, which he picked up halfway through his junior season and refined last year. With it, he was able to pick and choose where to throw his 12-6 curve that is also a good pitch. He's got good control of his fastball and understands how to pitch, working hitters and not giving them anything decent to swing at.
In short, he's got that pitcher's thing instead of being just a thrower. I like all those things about him, and I love his potential down the road.
The problem is Brown isn't tall. If I had to guess, I'd say he's about 5-foot-11, but that might be generous. If you know anything at all about baseball scouting, you can guess why's not on anyone's lists. Add in his late start to his career and there's a good chance he'll go to college before popping on anyone's radar.
I could see him pitching at Lamar, doing well there and then getting picked in a middle round in three years. But, man, with a guy can consistently miss bats, why wait? Why not take a chance on him now?
High school arms, especially ones who throw sliders, will not last. You're looking at a pretty significant injury risk. Plus, Brown's sort of a max-effort thrower on his motion, so you've got another injury strike against him. Given all that, I bet he's got a pretty low floor and there's a chance he never makes it past Low A ball. Colton Pitkin only barely did.
Here's the other problem. With his skillset, I see his best value down the road to be in the bullpen. He could definitely be a late-inning arm with that slider-curve-fastball combo. He doesn't throw in the mid-90's, but I don't think you limit him to that. Let him grow some and gain some strength. He's certainly got the mentality to do it.
I will be surprised if he gets tabbed at all, but it wouldn't shock me for a team to take a flier somewhere around Round 30-40.
That's the one thing I haven't talked to Brown about. If I had to guess, I bet he stays in school, which lowers his chances of being drafted even lower. If he can finagle a decent bonus, though? One that makes up for that baseball scholarship he'd be losing? Why not sign?
I wish there were more of a bibliography than what I've got. I can link you to some of the articles I've written mentioning Brett over the past year, though:
TORONTO (AP) The Toronto Blue Jays placed outfielder Ben Francisco on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain while optioning left-hander Evan Crawford to triple-A Las Vegas.
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With the Twins having a severe need for pitching in the organization as well as six picks among the top 100, it is certain that more than one of those picks (and probably the second overall pick) will be used to draft a pitcher. To this respect, I am[...]
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One of the reasons I added this kid is that I actually saw him pitch in 2011. It was right after I started working for the Port Arthur News and Long was a junior for Barbers Hill pitching against Nederland in a bidistrict playoff series. If I remember correctly, he was outdueled in the game by one of my favorite HS pitchers right now, Mr. Strikeout Brett Brown.
From my recollection, Long is a long, angular guy who has some deception to his delivery, but is a guy scouts can really dream on. You can see from the videos below that his delivery is pretty clean and repeatable. He doesn't have great velocity right now, but you can see his lower half filling out some and really turning up the speed down the road.
Oh, and for those wondering, he's a tall and fall guy on the hill, using every bit of his 6-foot-6 frame. Texas high school pitchers have acquitted themselves well in recent seasons and I have no doubt that Long will be a guy who gets better as he ages. A smart team could tab him early in this draft, lure him away from college and maybe find a gem.
As with most high school arms, the floor here is pretty low. If he never gains velocity, he wont' be more than a possible bullpen arm. The threat of injury also looms, though his mechanics appear clean enough that it isn't a huge red flag there. Patience will also be required with him, which also lowers his floor a bit more than a guy who could be ready quickly.
How high can you dream? If he's got a mid-90's fastball in a few years, Long could be an absolute middle-rotation starter with a good chance to eat some innings. That frame should allow him to pitch quite a bit. Maybe his ceiling is a Scott Elarton-type?
It's hard to tell. He's one of the better high school arms in this draft, but may not be elite enough to get a high slot. I'd expect him to go somewhere around Crosby's Jeremy Gabryszwski and Lufkin's Gandy Stubblefield last season, which puts him around the second to 14th rounds.
These new draft rules throw that up into the air. I, of course, wouldn't object to him joining a budding baseball powerhouse like the Aggies (j/k), but I do think the possibility of him going to college is higher and higher depending on how far he falls in the draft. I figure he'd have to be tabbed in the first five rounds to have a shot at going pro.
Grayson Long is one of those Texas kids coming down the Area Code pike that I thought would get better from when I first saw him and pick up speed down the line. I have not seen him since this look in the summer, but I have seen and heard that he’s got a shot to go pretty good.
Grayson Long is a right-handed pitcher who plays for Coach David Denny at Barbers Hill High School in Baytown, Texas and stands an imposing 6-foot-6 on the mound. Following last season, Long was selected as a first team All-District 19-4A pitcher along with being recognized as a member of the Texas Rangers Area Code Team. Additionally, he was named the 189th best prospect in the country by Perfect Game USA.
Righthander Grayson Long from Barbers Hill High from Mont Belvieu, Texas has a projectable frame at 6-foot-6 and 190 pounds. He had good life on his 89-91 mph fastball and mixed in a 75-76 mph curveball.
WASHINGTON (AP) A forensic scientist has testified that two cotton balls and a syringe needle allegedly saved after a steroids injection tested positive for Roger Clemens’ DNA – in a key moment as the government tries to prove the former pitcher used performance-enhancing drugs.
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Thanks to two doubleheaders, Colorado's minor league affiliates played six games last night, going 2-4.
Drew Pomeranz suffered his first AAA loss of the season in this one. He lasted only 3 innings, allowing 6 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits, striking out 4. The 4 unearned runs came on two throwing errors by Brendan Harris.
PuRP 20 Tommy Field led the Sky Sox (23-23 for the moment) with a 2-3 night in which he hit his 4th homer (a solo shot) of the year and added a double. Andrew Brown added a 2 run homer for the Sky Sox.
Game 2 went much better for the Sky Sox (24-23, 0.5 GB), as 5 separate players had multi-hit nights for the team. Leading the charge was Brown, who went 2-4 with 3 RBI. Field, Chris Nelson, Brandon Wood, and Wilkin Castillo added two hits each.
Guillermo Moscoso was solid on the mound to earn the win, going 6 innings (out of 7 in a minor league doubleheader), allowing 1 run on 6 hits with 3 strikeouts.
After blazing out of the gates, Tulsa (26-20, 1st) has fallen back towards the pack a little bit with a 2-8 stretch. The main culprit is the offense, which hasn't scored more than 5 runs in the last 9 games. They were punchless tonight, mustering 7 hits but no runs.
Parker Frazier lasted only 2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits to get the loss. The bullpen only allowed 1 run the rest of the way, but it's hard to win when you don't score.High Desert 18, Modesto 5
Modesto (23-24, 7 GB) actually jumped out to a 4-0 lead in this one and led 5-1 going into the 5th, but it got pretty ugly soon thereafter. High Desert scored the bulk of their runs in the 5th (5 runs), 7th (4), and 8th (8). The less said about pitching in such an extreme offensive environment as High Desert, the better. Suffice it to say that none of the pitchers should be too high on your PuRPs lists.
The Nuts were led offensively by multi-hit nights from PuRP 25 Cristhian Adames and PuRP 19 Corey Dickerson. Dickerson, in case you hadn't noticed, has a triple slash of .364/.420/.663 with 33 extra base hits in 46 games.
Game 1: Asheville 6, Rome 4
The Tourists (31-15 for the moment) continued to distinguish themselves as Colorado's best minor league affiliate by record with this win in the opener of their doubleheader. Asheville scored all of their runs in a 3 inning stretch from the 4th-6th (out of 7), then hung on as Rome scored 4 in the last two innings.
Chris Jensen threw 6 innings of 3 run ball, giving up 7 hits and punching out 2. Harold Riggins continued to knock the snot out of the ball, going 2-4 to bring his triple slash up to .315/.402/.570, while PuRP 11 Rosell Herrera (who has been struggling this year to the tune of a .194/.264/.233 line) added 2 hits.
Game 2: Rome 4, Asheville 3
With the loss in this one (to the last place team in the division), the Tourists (31-16, 0.5 GB) let the chance to pull into the lead of their division slip through their fingers. Sam Mende led Asheville with a 2-3 game, both of the hits being doubles.
Geoff Parker started the game, allowing 8 hits and 3 runs in 4 innings, but it was Russell Brewer out of the bullpen who took the loss. The Tourists had scored 2 in the top of the 6th to tie up the ballgame, but Brewer allowed a run in the 7th for a walk-off loss.
I'm going to keep this pretty short today, but yesterday's action had several promising arms on the mound for the Astros (Jordan Lyles, Dallas Keuchel, Aneury Rodriguez, Jarred Cosart, and Michael Foltynewicz). Of the above mentioned only Foltynewicz through what would be classified as a quality start, and continued an impressive 2012 campaign so far. Jordan Lyles and Aneury Rodriguez split the first game of Oklahoma City's double header, and Lyles only pitched 2 innings making it seem like he may be called up the next time the Astros need a starter again. Aneury got hit around a little bit but managed to pick up the win. Dallas Keuchel started the second game and threw his second consecutive stinker. He got hit hard, and has seen his ERA rise over 2 full runs in his last two outings.
That brings us to Jarred Cosart. Cosart spent a lot of time pitching from the stretch again, but this time not due to walks, but because he got hit. He gave up 12 hits total, and 4 of them were doubles. With that being said he did a good job of getting out of trouble for the most part and limiting the damage. After the first inning he did a good job of mixing in his curveball, and when he is able to locate that pitch and throw it for a strike he is tough to beat. When he can't find the strike zone with it then hitters sit on his fastball and he gets into trouble.
The real story tonight though was the Corpus Christi Hooks offense. They slugged 14 hits, 3 homeruns, and 5 doubles.
Edit 10:30 a.m.: Game Scores added