The Phillies selected left-handed pitcher and outfielder Aaron Brown from Pepperdine University with the 81st overall pick.
Brown is the definition of a quality two-way player. The 30th round pick of the Cleveland Indians last year returned to Pepperdine for his junior season and shined. As a left-handed pitcher, Brown features a three-pitch repertoire. His fastball sits consistently between 90-92 mph and can hit 93 mph at times. He has command of his fastball as he keeps it low in the zone and the pitch features some sink to it.
The 6'2", 200 lbs. lefty also features a slider that has great movement and generates swings and misses on both right-handed and left-handed batters. It looks to be an above-average pitch and could be an out-pitch if he continues to develop. The question about whether Brown projects to a Major League starting rotation or the bullpen relies on his changeup which is average but some scouts could be a decent pitch for a Major League starter. His command and development of his changeup will decide if he projects as a start or a reliever.
His numbers on the mound back up his scouting reports. He went 12-1 with a 2.07 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 16 starts this season. He struck out 100 batters in 108.2 innings of work.
But there is also a large contingent of scouts who believe Brown projects as an outfielder. Brown, who turns 22 on June 20th, has a lot of raw power which some believe he can harness into a solid power swing. He projects more as a corner outfielder with a strong arm but some scouts think he has the athleticism to play centerfield if needed. Sometimes he can be inconsistent at the plate due to timing issues thanks to a double toe-tap.
Brown put up some big numbers at the plate this season batting .313/.352/.546 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs. He does have a tendency to swing and miss as you can tell by his 51 strikeouts to just eight walks in 57 games this season.
He is the first batter to be selected by the Phillies in the 2014 draft. The bonus allotment for 81st overall is $682,500.
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