The 22-year-old signed with the Cards after the completion of his senior year, and his bonus included funds to complete his college education. This spring, Brown was named an All-Big 12 performer as the Huskers' successor to another all-conference first baseman drafted by the Cardinals a year earlier, Palm Beach's Brandon Buckman.
Brown led his club in slugging percentage and home runs, but as impressively, he showed great discipline at the plate, walking 34 times while striking out just in 29 at-bats. He is no slouch with the glove, either, as his fielding percentage of .988 was also a team best.
Brown had gone undrafted as a junior, when he was second-team All-Big 12, then excelled in the summer of 2006 in the wooden-bat M.I.N.K. League (Missouri-Iowa-Nebraska-Kansas), where he batted .386 with a team-high nine home runs.
In his initial action as a professional with Batavia of the short-season Class A New York-Penn League, the versatile 6-foot-0, 185 pound right-hander has played his primary position, first base, as well as third base and the corner outfield positions for the Muckdogs.
Overall this season for Batavia, Brown has posted a .255/.344/.503 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line with team-leading six home runs and 29 RBI for the Muckdogs in 165 first-half at-bats. Brown started slowly as a professional, hitting just .211 in June before putting together a solid .288 mark in July. During the League All-Star Game Tuesday night, Brown went 1-for-2, with a double.
His skipper Mark DeJohn points out that Brown has a nice combination of power and speed. "Brown has eight doubles and seven triples. He's a first baseman and leads the league in triples! Most of them have been to right-center field and he runs the bases well. He makes good decisions."
In this exclusive interview, carried out the day he was selected as a New York-Penn League All-Star, Brown discusses his game, hopes for the future and much more.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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