Brown rights the ship with four hits
Giants' No. 2 prospect homers in breakout game for Fresno
By Jake Seiner / Special to MLB.com
Gary Brown hit a home run in the eighth inning of a long-decided baseball game Monday night.
It didn't affect the outcome much, but it did put an emphatic and telling end to an encouraging day for the center fielder.
The Giants' No. 2 prospect broke out with a home run and a season-high four hits Monday as Fresno beat Tucson, 10-1.
"It's hard because in this game, you can do everything right and fail," he said. "Earlier this year, I wasn't doing much right, but even when I was doing things right, I was still failing. It's good to have a night like this."
Brown entered hitting .209 with a .600 OPS for the season and has struggled especially against right-handed pitching. He entered hitting .188 against same-sided pitching with a .535 OPS against a .288 average and .843 OPS against left-handers.
MLB.com's No. 90 prospect showed signs of improvement against righties Monday. Brown hit his homer to lead off the bottom of the eighth against right-handed reliever Wilfredo Boscan. Boscan challenged Brown with a first-pitch fastball middle-in, and the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder turned and drove it over the left-field fence.
It was his first home run since May 23 and only his third in 201 at-bats against right-handed pitchers on the season. Brown's struggles against righties can partially be tied to the length of his swing, something he's worked on recently with Fresno hitting coach Russ Morman.
"I'm just trying to shorten my swing," Brown said. "I've been a little long and wrapping my bat. I've been doing a lot of wrong things.
"I'd made some adjustments and been working on stuff. I did some early work today with my hitting coach, and it felt good. Hopefully, I can carry that on."
All four of his hits came against right-handed pitchers. Brown was coming off a 2-for-3 performance against Salt Lake, with each of those hits also coming off righties.
Brown emerged on the prospect scene in 2011 with a breakout year in the Class A Advanced California League. A 2010 first-round (24 overall) pick out of Cal State Fullerton, Brown hit .336 with 14 homers, 53 stolen bases and a .925 OPS with San Jose in 2011. He was considered the Giants' top prospect heading into 2012.
Results were mixed for the center fielder at Double-A Richmond the next season as he hit .279 with seven homers, 33 steals and a .731 OPS in 134 games.
Brown has tremendous speed and a solid reputation in center field, but he still has to master Triple-A by stringing together a few more hitting performances like Monday's outing.
"I just have to continue to do what I worked on today," he said. "Hopefully, things will work out."
Hector Sanchez also homered for Fresno, driving in four runs on three hits. Nick Noonan added three hits, including a double, and two RBIs.