Top 50 Scouting Report: #32 RHP Eric Brown

The Mets selected the right-hander in the 18th round of the 2005 MLB Draft out of Wingate University (NC). In his first year with a long-season squad, he proved capable of handling the additional workload while further developing his repertoire. Here is a scouting report on St. Lucie starter Eric Brown.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Eric Brown
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: February 23, 1984
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 225
Throws: Right
Bats: Right

Eric Brown had many goals when he reported to camp last spring to begin his third season in the organization. After back-to-back successful seasons at Brooklyn and Hagerstown, his primary goal was to break camp with St. Lucie and become the full-time starting pitcher he knew he could be. Coming of a strong 2006 in which he posted a combined 10-3 record with a 3.05 ERA he did just that, taking a lead role on the Single-A Mets' staff.

He got off to a slow start this year, registering a 3-3 record with a 5.22 through the first two months, yet he never took his eyes of his prize as he aimed to exceed career highs across the board.

"First off, making St. Lucie was my number one goal coming out of camp," he said. "All my numbers weren't exactly where I thought they'd be, but I wanted to lead the team in innings and have at least 10 wins and I worked hard all season to accomplish that."

As the season went on, Brown improved by adapting to the rigors of the Florida State League and strengthening his repertoire. He was near dominant with Brooklyn last year, but he recognized adjustments had to be made if he was to succeed at this level.

"It was a different level of competition coming form the [NY]-Penn-League, facing a lot of hitters with a better understanding of pitching. I struggled early on, worked through it and learned a lot about being mentally tough and bouncing back. If I was going to make it in St. Lucie, I had to get my changeup at the level of my other pitches," he explained.

Brown is known for his very good sinking two-seam fastball and an above average slider and during his first two years at the lower levels, those two pitches carried him a long way as his changeup was more of a complimentary pitch. He knew that to last in a starter's role, the development of his changeup was imperative. As the starts rolled by in St. Lucie, it became more effective and deceptive.

"Even though I worked on [the changeup] all throughout the off-season and camp, I shied away from it early on," he said. "But the coaches told me to keep throwing it because it wasn't going to get any better if I didn't use it often. For me, it's about believing in the pitch. The more I threw it, the better it got and by the end of the year, I was really confident with it."

Although his repertoire became more sound as the year went on, he struggled in other areas, yet none more pronounced finding a balance between aggressiveness and pitching to avoid damage. Hitters got the best of him at times this season, which led to a .295 opponent's batting average, yet he walked just 30 batters in his 143.2 innings pitched. Too often he was locked in patterns that allowed the opposition to tee off certain pitches and/or counts.

"I got into too much of a rhythm with my pitches. I think I allowed hitters to sit on my pitches too much. I need to control the at-bats and I can do that by being more aggressive and not pitching with the fear of walking guys. I think if I can mix the aggressive mentality with not caring about walking guys I think I'll keep down my hits allowed and guys who reach base," he detailed.

More than anything, Brown suffered from a lack of confidence when situations were tight with runners on base. He would second guess himself and his concentration would wane when it needed to be its sharpest.

"I know that from the stretch I got in trouble because I would get so worked up and mad at myself for getting into the situation and it came back to bite me," he said. "[St. Lucie pitching coach] Dan Murray told me that I had to take a different attitude which I did later on in the year and I saw the turn around because of it."

His turnaround could not have happened at a better time for his ball club. He rebounded from a rather vanilla first half to go 5-3 with a 3.08 ERA in his last ten starts, putting together a string of quality starts as his team dashed to a FSL second-half division title and a playoff spot. He saved his best month for last as he went 4-1 with a 2.61 ERA in August, sending him into the winter months will a renewed confidence.

"Finishing up like that in the midst of a playoff run showed that I can pitch in real pressure situations when my team needs to me to go out there and get them a win. I take that into the off-season, work as hard as I can and hope I end up at the next level this next season," he closed.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2007

St. Lucie

10-8

0

143.2

168

30

68

4.13

2006

Hagerstown

3-2

0

63.0

74

24

51

5.29

2006

Brooklyn

7-1

0

70.0

53

4

55

1.16

2005

Brooklyn

3-2

4

34.0

33

7

31

3.97



Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball: Brown's primary pitch and his go-to pitch is his sinking two-seam fastball that sits between 87-89 MPH. He can use it to start off an at-bat or to finish one, but he also employs his sinker to set up his secondary pitches. It can still be spotty from start to start, but when it is on, it is very tough on righties as it breaks quickly down through the zone, enabling him to induce groundballs with regularity. He throws a four-seam fastball ball as well, but the infrequency which he throws it leaves it more as a get-over pitch for the time being.

Other Pitches: Brown mixes things up by throwing a very tight, 82-83 MPH slider that he uses as his finishing pitch, especially to righties. He will also use his slider when he feels hitters are sitting on his fastball. Though it is currently very effective for him, it would be even tougher to hit if he could add a few extra miles per hour on the pitch. His curveball is still a work in progress. It is serviceable as a second breaking pitch but he lacks enough confidence in the pitch to throw it consistently with his other pitches. It took a back seat this year and will not reappear with any certainty until his slider has peaked. His changeup came along with great success this season. It drops much like his two-seamer and differs enough in its velocity that it keeps hitters out in front, turning it over for groundball outs.

Pitching: Brown is a textbook groundball pitcher. He relies on working down in the strike zone and using a lot of movement to keep hitters in the infield. He will not strike out a high number of hitters, but he works quickly and limits his walks. He needs to improve his ability to pitch from the stretch to keep his ERA down, and once he does that he will become more of the consistent starter he figures to be.

Projection: The rapid development of his changeup this year significantly improves Brown's standing among the system's second tier of starting pitchers. If he can develop his curveball as a more reliable fourth pitch and find more consistency in his quality starts, that would go a long way towards solidifying him as a projected third or fourth starter. If he cannot do either, his top three pitches would make him a legitimate candidate for the bullpen.

2009: Bypassing Savannah entirely this year really helped shorten his path to the big leagues. He pitched well enough in St. Lucie this year that he should start the upcoming season in Binghamton which would set the stage for a potential shot at Shea during the 2009 season.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Eric Brown
\r\nPosition: Starting Pitcher
\r\nDOB: February 23, 1984
\r\nHeight: 6'6\"
\r\nWeight: 225
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\nBats: Right
\r\n
\r\nEric Brown had many goals when he reported to camp last spring to begin his third season in the organization. After back-to-back successful seasons at Brooklyn and Hagerstown, his primary goal was to break camp with St. Lucie and become the full-time starting pitcher he knew he could be. Coming of a strong 2006 in which he posted a combined 10-3 record with a 3.05 ERA he did just that, taking a lead role on the Single-A Mets' staff.
\r\n
\r\nHe got off to a slow start this year, registering a 3-3 record with a 5.22 through the first two months, yet he never took his eyes of his prize as he aimed to exceed career highs across the board.
\r\n
\r\n\"First off, making St. Lucie was my number one goal coming out of camp,\" he said. \"All my numbers weren't exactly where I thought they'd be, but I wanted to lead the team in innings and have at least 10 wins and I worked hard all season to accomplish that.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs the season went on, Brown improved by adapting to the rigors of the Florida State League and strengthening his repertoire. He was near dominant with Brooklyn last year, but he recognized adjustments had to be made if he was to succeed at this level.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was a different level of competition coming form the [NY]-Penn-League, facing a lot of hitters with a better understanding of pitching. I struggled early on, worked through it and learned a lot about being mentally tough and bouncing back. If I was going to make it in St. Lucie, I had to get my changeup at the level of my other pitches,\" he explained.
\r\n
\r\nBrown is known for his very good sinking two-seam fastball and an above average slider and during his first two years at the lower levels, those two pitches carried him a long way as his changeup was more of a complimentary pitch. He knew that to last in a starter's role, the development of his changeup was imperative. As the starts rolled by in St. Lucie, it became more effective and deceptive.
\r\n
\r\n\"Even though I worked on [the changeup] all throughout the off-season and camp, I shied away from it early on,\" he said. \"But the coaches told me to keep throwing it because it wasn't going to get any better if I didn't use it often. For me, it's about believing in the pitch. The more I threw it, the better it got and by the end of the year, I was really confident with it.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough his repertoire became more sound as the year went on, he struggled in other areas, yet none more pronounced finding a balance between aggressiveness and pitching to avoid damage. Hitters got the best of him at times this season, which led to a .295 opponent's batting average, yet he walked just 30 batters in his 143.2 innings pitched. Too often he was locked in patterns that allowed the opposition to tee off certain pitches and/or counts.
\r\n
\r\n\"I got into too much of a rhythm with my pitches. I think I allowed hitters to sit on my pitches too much. I need to control the at-bats and I can do that by being more aggressive and not pitching with the fear of walking guys. I think if I can mix the aggressive mentality with not caring about walking guys I think I'll keep down my hits allowed and guys who reach base,\" he detailed.
\r\n
\r\nMore than anything, Brown suffered from a lack of confidence when situations were tight with runners on base. He would second guess himself and his concentration would wane when it needed to be its sharpest.
\r\n
\r\n\"I know that from the stretch I got in trouble because I would get so worked up and mad at myself for getting into the situation and it came back to bite me,\" he said. \"[St. Lucie pitching coach] Dan Murray told me that I had to take a different attitude which I did later on in the year and I saw the turn around because of it.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis turnaround could not have happened at a better time for his ball club. He rebounded from a rather vanilla first half to go 5-3 with a 3.08 ERA in his last ten starts, putting together a string of quality starts as his team dashed to a FSL second-half division title and a playoff spot. He saved his best month for last as he went 4-1 with a 2.61 ERA in August, sending him into the winter months will a renewed confidence.
\r\n
\r\n\"Finishing up like that in the midst of a playoff run showed that I can pitch in real pressure situations when my team needs to me to go out there and get them a win. I take that into the off-season, work as hard as I can and hope I end up at the next level this next season,\" he closed.
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n SV

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n St. Lucie

\r\n

\r\n 10-8

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 143.2

\r\n

\r\n 168

\r\n

\r\n 30

\r\n

\r\n 68

\r\n

\r\n 4.13

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n Hagerstown

\r\n

\r\n 3-2

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 63.0

\r\n

\r\n 74

\r\n

\r\n 24

\r\n

\r\n 51

\r\n

\r\n 5.29

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n 7-1

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 70.0

\r\n

\r\n 53

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 55

\r\n

\r\n 1.16

\r\n

\r\n 2005

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n 3-2

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 34.0

\r\n

\r\n 33

\r\n

\r\n 7

\r\n

\r\n 31

\r\n

\r\n 3.97


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup
\r\n
\r\nFastball: Brown's primary pitch and his go-to pitch is his sinking two-seam fastball that sits between 87-89 MPH. He can use it to start off an at-bat or to finish one, but he also employs his sinker to set up his secondary pitches. It can still be spotty from start to start, but when it is on, it is very tough on righties as it breaks quickly down through the zone, enabling him to induce groundballs with regularity. He throws a four-seam fastball ball as well, but the infrequency which he throws it leaves it more as a get-over pitch for the time being.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches: Brown mixes things up by throwing a very tight, 82-83 MPH slider that he uses as his finishing pitch, especially to righties. He will also use his slider when he feels hitters are sitting on his fastball. Though it is currently very effective for him, it would be even tougher to hit if he could add a few extra miles per hour on the pitch. His curveball is still a work in progress. It is serviceable as a second breaking pitch but he lacks enough confidence in the pitch to throw it consistently with his other pitches. It took a back seat this year and will not reappear with any certainty until his slider has peaked. His changeup came along with great success this season. It drops much like his two-seamer and differs enough in its velocity that it keeps hitters out in front, turning it over for groundball outs.
\r\n
\r\nPitching: Brown is a textbook groundball pitcher. He relies on working down in the strike zone and using a lot of movement to keep hitters in the infield. He will not strike out a high number of hitters, but he works quickly and limits his walks. He needs to improve his ability to pitch from the stretch to keep his ERA down, and once he does that he will become more of the consistent starter he figures to be.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: The rapid development of his changeup this year significantly improves Brown's standing among the system's second tier of starting pitchers. If he can develop his curveball as a more reliable fourth pitch and find more consistency in his quality starts, that would go a long way towards solidifying him as a projected third or fourth starter. If he cannot do either, his top three pitches would make him a legitimate candidate for the bullpen.
\r\n
\r\n2009: Bypassing Savannah entirely this year really helped shorten his path to the big leagues. He pitched well enough in St. Lucie this year that he should start the upcoming season in Binghamton which would set the stage for a potential shot at Shea during the 2009 season.
\r\n
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