OaklandClubhouse.com caught up with Brown only a few days removed from helping the Phoenix Desert Dogs win the Arizona Fall League championship.">
OaklandClubhouse.com caught up with Brown only a few days removed from helping the Phoenix Desert Dogs win the Arizona Fall League championship.">

Catching Up with Jeremy Brown

"I played in the College World Series and that was a great time, but playing in the Fall League Championship Game was one of the most exciting times of my career so far," said Oakland A's catching prospect Jeremy Brown upon his return from the Arizona Fall League. <br><br> OaklandClubhouse.com caught up with Brown only a few days removed from helping the Phoenix Desert Dogs win the Arizona Fall League championship.

Brown was drafted by the Oakland A's as the 35th overall pick in the June 2002 draft. He made steady progress toward the major leagues during his first two professional seasons. However, a hand injury ended his 2003 season early and he struggled at the plate during the first half of the 2004 season. Brown recovered to have a solid second half of the season and was invited to join other top prospects in the Arizona Fall League.

Brown proved he deserved his roster spot alongside baseball's top prospects with his performance in the Fall League. A member of the "taxi squad", Brown was eligible to play in the games on Wednesdays and Saturdays. However, he took full advantage of his playing time. In only 14 games, Brown had 22 total bases, 12 runs batted in, and an impressive .647 slugging percentage. Brown also displayed his trademark patience at the plate, walking eight times against only six strikeouts and compiling a .477 OBP.

"The Fall League was a great experience. I just tried to go out and work hard every day and luckily I had a good season," Brown said.

"I tried to work hard on my defense and game-calling while I was down there. The Fall League was a great time to work on stuff like that."

For Brown, the Fall League wasn't just about learning, however. It was also about having fun and winning a championship ring. Those experiences were made even sweeter for Brown by virtue of the fact that he got to share those moments with four of his fellow A's farmhands: Jason Perry, Omar Quintanilla, John Baker, and Steve Obenchain.

"It's fun to experience something like that with guys I've known and played with for so long," Brown said.

Brown is particularly close with fellow catcher John Baker. Despite having to compete for playing time over the past two seasons, Brown and Baker are good friends.

"We work together and ask each other a lot of questions to help us learn the game. John has a great work ethic that I really admire," Brown said.

One thing is clear when speaking with Jeremy Brown: he is dedicated to being as good as he can be. After a few days off to celebrate Thanksgiving and recover from the long season of catching, Brown will get right back to work preparing for the 2005 season.

For the second straight year, Brown will spend a significant amount of time in the major league camp in spring training learning from the A's major league coaching staff and the catchers on the 25-man roster.

"Being in big league camp [last spring] was a great learning experience," Brown said. "We had one catcher who had had been in the big leagues for a long time, Damian Miller, and one who had some experience in Adam Melhuse who I could work with regularly, so I learned a lot. It gave me the opportunity to pick their brains and learn by asking questions."

On Friday, Brown was rewarded for his strong AFL play and his work ethic with a spot on the A's 40-man roster. His voice lit up when talking about the opportunity to make the major leagues.

"[Making the 40-man roster] gives me a great incentive to prepare for spring training," Brown said.

"My goal for next year, wherever I am at, is to go out and work hard every day and get better each and every day. I'm just looking to improve each year and I believe that getting to the big leagues will take care of itself if I continue to get better."


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