Catching up with infield prospect Hunter Brown

Since we last sat down with Hunter Brown (technically, we stood in June), Brown has become solidified into the third base spot a little bit more and occasionally has taken turns on the other corner at first base. Brown sat down (really, this time) with InsidethePark's Joe Ruiz after Sunday's game and talked about the change in the Missions and adjusting to position changes. Both got a lesson on how to dodge promotional bouncing balls while conducting the interview.

InsideThePark.com: You're giving a new meaning to the term "utility infielder," aren't you?

Hunter Brown: Yeah, I've been everywhere this year. I'm surprised I haven't been behind the plate yet.

ITP.com: Recently, somebody within the organization told us that you are the best overall defensive infielder they've seen come through San Antonio in the past 15 years. How do you react to a complement like that?

HB: Well, it's a huge complement. They've had some good players come through here in the past and it's just a huge complement. There's not much I can say about that other than I appreciate that.

ITP.com: When we talked this time last month, this team had a different focus. What can you tell us about the change this team has seen since then?

HB: We ended the first half on a roll and we won three games in a row going into the (end of) first half. Last year (at Advanced-A Inland Empire), we started slow and we came on in the second half, we have a lot of the same guys and I think once you start believing in yourself, because we went through the same tough times. We just keep the focus as a team. Now, we're playing good. We're catching breaks, our pitching's going well, we're playing good defense and we're hitting when we need to.

ITP.com: What's been the toughest adjustment for you moving from third to first?

HB: The different angles. The footwork around the bag; it's got to be there to work. Some days, I don't feel really comfortable because of my footwork around the bag and just different things. If there's a man in scoring position, I'm the cut-off man to right field and center and I'm not used to doing that. I've been caught sleeping sometimes on those because when I'm on third, I'm usually the cutoff man for a ball in left field. It's usually just mental stuff that I need to prepare myself for before I go out there.

ITP.com: What about your offense? How's that coming around?

HB: I've just been trying to keep a consistent swing. In the second half, I've been kind of inconsistent so far. One day, I'll have a good day and then I'll be not-so-good the next day. I'm just trying to keep within myself and doing what I've been doing all year and if I put good swings on balls, hopefully they'll fall in for hits.

ITP.com: What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment so far this season?

HB: I think my all-around game is just more consistent than it was last year. I had a lot more errors at third base and I didn't hit with the consistency that I have so far this year, so it's been nice. It's been real rewarding to get out what I've put in to it. There are definitely still things I need to work on, though.

ITP.com: You read my mind. What's the biggest thing you'd like to improve on before the season's finished?

HB: Right now, I'd say base running. Base running has got me into trouble more than I want it to this year and just being in better situations and not having those mental lapses like I've done a couple of times this year. I'd also like to hit for a little more power and drive the ball a little bit more. But that'll come in time; I don't want to push myself. Hopefully, it'll work out.

InsidethePark.com would like to thank Hunter Brown for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to us yet again. You won't find many better people in baseball than this guy.

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