Erie's Brown Continues Work, Improvement

Brooks Brown's career has seen highs and lows along the way, and he dealt with the transition from Arizona to Detroit admirably last year. Even with that experience behind him, there was still growth necessary to make him a viable big league option. TigsTown's Chris Roth sat down with Brown to discuss his development and his future.

Brooks Brown was once a University of Georgia Bulldog, now he is a "bulldog" for the Erie SeaWolves.

Early on Brown knew he wanted to be a Major Leaguer.

"I've always loved the game," said Brown. "It's all I've done since I was little and in high school and college I started realizing I could make a career of it."

A career he did. The right-handed starter was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2006 MLB Draft (34th overall), and came to the Detroit organization as part of a trade in 2009 where the Tigers sent catching prospect James Skelton to Arizona. While with the Arizona organization Brown was a highly regarded prospect. He was named a Southern League All-Star in 2008.

The right-hander has moved his way into the starting rotation after beginning the season as a relief pitcher. The results have been good so far this season. As a starter Brown has compiled a 4-4 record with a 4.17 ERA. He has tossed an Eastern League leading three complete games, one of which was a shut out against Richmond on July 3.

Brown possesses a fastball, sinker, and slider repertoire and is working on adding a change-up to his arsenal. His fastball sits between 88-92 MPH and his slider has shown potential to be a plus pitch.

He has worked hard to improve.

"Ray and I have worked on my delivery, getting to where I can repeat it each time" said Brown. "Last year I didn't throw enough strikes, and this year I'm throwing more and going deeper into games."

"He's really grown in his belief in his stuff and that it is good enough to win," said pitching coach Ray Burris. "He's got a great work ethic and in my opinion he could pitch in the big leagues out of the bullpen right now and do very well."

Brown has shown flashes of dominance this year, backing up Burris' belief that he could pitch in the Majors. In his May 27 start against the Trenton Thunder Brown worked the first three innings before a rain delay caused the came to be suspended and picked up on June 22. He surrendered just two runs, both on solo home runs, one by Austin Romine and one by Jose Gil.

"Longest complete game I've ever had, going somewhere between 30 days in between the start and finish of the game," Brown said.

His second complete game of the season actually was finished before his first. Brown allowed just one run against the Portland Sea Dogs on June 17. He allowed just five hits and struck out five.

Brown finally got a complete game shut out against the Richmond Flying Squirrels on July 3. The win broke a 12-game losing streak for SeaWolves. In the start Brown was brilliant limiting Richmond to just four hits, while striking out six.

"It was huge for us to get the win," Brown said. "It was the best game I've had this season."

Eastern League fans have appreciated what Brown has accomplished this season and named the pitcher to the Eastern League All-Star team. It is his third mid-season all-star nomination in the minors, but his first while part of the Detroit organization.

"It's great," said Brown. " Anytime you can be All-Star is good. I've had it previous seasons and I'm just glad to be recognized."

Brown's All-Star season can be a sign of things to come for Detroit organization. If he continues his growth we could see him moving up to Triple-A Toledo this season with a chance to reach Detroit within the next few years.

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