The San Francisco Giants announced a wave of call-ups for September yesterday and a former #1 round draft pick, Gary Brown, was once again missing from the list. While there may be another wave of call-ups coming that includes Brown, the Giants plans for Brown may be fading fast.
SFG planning on bringing up five more. Cordier/Duvall/Brown would be easy, on 40-man already. Can clear 2 spots if Scut/Cain go on 60-day DL
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) September 1, 2014
According to Alex Pavlovic, of the San Jose Mercury News, Brown may not be in the long-term plans for San Francisco. It all started last night when Pavlovic tweeted the list of call-ups. The questions about Brown began and Pavs was pretty blunt with this answers.
Brown was a 1st round draft pick in 2010 as an outfielder. He’s fast and a threat on the base paths – he has 36 stolen bases this season in Fresno. However, the upside of Brown ends about right there. It’s speculated that the Giants were disappointed with him after the 2013 season, according to Bruce Jenkins of SFGate.com.
As the 2013 season concluded, the Giants were highly disappointed in his batting average (.231 at Triple-A Fresno), his on-base percentage (.286), his tendency to get caught stealing, his inability to draw a walk, his batting stance and even his attitude on occasion (one evaluator reported that Brown “doesn’t always play hard.”)
In 2014, Brown hit .276/.326/.380 in Fresno. Even though Brown’s numbers have improved in 2014, they haven’t improved drastically and it seems that the Giants may be losing patience with Brown. We saw this play out recently when the Giants traded Heath Hembree and Edwin Escobar to the Boston Red Sox for Jake Peavy. Even though Hembree and Escobar were still considered top prospects, there was talk that the Giants thought they should be further along than they were.
Here’s what Brian Sabean had to say about them:
“Both the players that we traded, we think are major league pitchers. They were both traded because they didn’t end up on our no-trade list and we had them down on our own prospect list,” Sabean said.
“When there were opportunities to have someone start for Cain or Hudson, we chose Petit over Escobar. There were times that we needed someone coming up from the minor leagues, we chose Kontos. Both of these guys, in our estimation, needed more time.”
The same could be said of Brown. When the Giants have needed and outfielder this year, they have called up Juan Perez. Even without him on the roster over the past few weeks, the Giants have put Travis Ishikawa out there, though he’s primarily a first baseman.
Given that Brown is a speed guy, he should at least have a better on-base percentage and be able to draw more walks. But fast guys who can’t hit that well are a dime a dozen in the big leagues. The Giants should at least have one that can get on base more consistently.
That said, Brown hit .278 in the last month of regular season in Fresno. He also hit .350 in a handful of games during Spring Training. However, I’m of the opinion that if the Giants really considered Gary Brown as part of their long-term plans, they would have already given him a shot. At age 25, his time is running out, so anything short of a spectacular September or Spring Training, I would expect to see him remained parked in the minor leagues, or packaged in an off-season trade.