Brewer Spotlight

Zack Brown: Saber Snapshot

Last week Craig Counsell said, “Zack Brown will be a good guy later in the year.” This simple statement seems to confirm that the 24-year-old is ahead of schedule. After being drafted by The Crew in 2016, he has quickly ascended through The Minor League Ranks. Last year he was voted ‘Most Outstanding Pitcher’ in the Southern League (AA). Get to know the rising phenom who has caught his coach’s eye…


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  • Zack Brown was initially drafted by The Cubs but he realized that he had a soul… whoops, did I type that out loud? Anyways, for whatever reason he decided to go to college and played at Kentucky.
    • While at Kentucky, he did not pitch very well but showed flashes of potential with his mid-90’s fast ball and a ‘pitch plus curve.’

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  • The Brewers recognized a young man who had skills that would ‘translate’ on the next level. Thus, they selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 Amateur Draft (Corey Ray was chosen by Milwaukee fifth overall).
    • Since then he has been rapidly climbing the ranks:

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  • On January 16, 2019 The Beer-Makers invited Brown (along with eight others) to participate in Spring Training:

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This shot sheds light on Brown’s “max effort” approach

MINOR LEAGUE STATS (CAREER TRENDS)

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  • Brown has pitched more every year and is increasingly utilized as a starter
  • The trend with his record speaks for itself
  • He is learning to get out of innings faster (i.e. is more efficient as he goes)
  • Quality of contact is diminishing as he goes
    • Opposing hitters are hitting more grounders which go for more double plays
  • TREND: Brown is literally improving across the board…
    • His journey made its crescendo last year as evident by all of his hardware:

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  • We should not gloss over this… please notice that he not only was an All-Star and Pitcher of the Year in The Southern League (AA), BUT…

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NUMBERS…

OVERALL PRODUCTION

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  • Again, we see everything here improving across the board!
    • ERA drops 2.06 since he began in The Minors
    • Brown allowed 0.247 less batters on per inning in 2018 than he did in 2016
    • Even when opposing batters are hitting him, they are doing so with less power than in the past (i.e. declining slugging percentage).

RATE STATS

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  • It is very impressive that Brown is allowing almost 2.5 less hits per nine innings. He seems to be figuring this stuff out quickly!
    • Consistent with what we saw above, opposing batters are not hitting him as hard either (SEE declining home run rate)
  • Brown will strike out 8-9 opponents per game
    • He will walk 2-3 of them

PITCH ARSENAL

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  • Three pitch repertoire
    1. Fastball (92 – 95 mph): A lively pitch that he can ‘shape’ at will (good control)
      • Works both sides of the plate well
      • Maintaining velocity deeper into games
    2. Curve: The pitch with the most potential
      • The Brewers will give Brown every chance as a starter but his fastball-curve combo would fare well out the pen.
    3. Change-up: scouts refer to this pitch as ‘promising.’

Brown has a max-effort, high-energy approach on the mound. This style leads to a taxing kinetic chain that is difficult to sustain over long periods of time. That said, one of his greatest qualities is his tenacity. If anyone can pull it off, it probably is this fierce fireballer.

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SPRING STATS

While Brown has not pitched much this spring, he has looked solid when he has…

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Of Note…

  • At the plate: Brown has a career Minor League Average of 0.038 (one hit in 28 PAs)
  • Defense: A great fielder! One error in 52 chances (0.981 fielding percentage)
    • The kid also has a range factor / 9 (RF/9) of 1.66… not too shabby!
  • After throwing eight wild pitches in 2016 & 2017, the number dipped to six in 2018 (despite the fact that he pitched more innings than ever before).
  • A quick look at “Brown’s Peers” who he will be competing for roster spots against:

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In the end, it seems that Brown is exactly who The Brewers thought he was when they drafted him. His rapid growth and dominance in 2018 suggest big things are on the way. Counsell seems to be eyeing him for a mid-season call up. However, with the way Zack Brown has been improving, his play could demand it sooner…

Brown on 06/15/2018 (vs Mississippi)