Giants' top pick eager to burn at AT&T Park
Speedy outfielder Brown says he's not just a singles hitter
CINCINNATI -- Gary Brown's aware that he fits the stereotype of the speedy, slap-hitting outfielder. He'd like fans to know that he considers himself different from the Juan Pierre-Scott Podsednik-Brett Butler mold in one important way:
"I definitely do not see myself as a singles hitter only," said Brown, the Giants' first-round selection (24th overall) Monday in the First-Year Player Draft.The 20 doubles, eight triples, six homers and .695 slugging percentage Brown has compiled in 48 games this season with Cal State Fullerton would seem to suggest that he knows what he's talking about. Brown, 21, displayed a knack for candor during a brief conference call Tuesday. For example, he spoke bluntly about himself when asked why he didn't sign when the Oakland A's drafted him in the 12th round in 2007. "I felt I needed to develop more as a baseball player," said Brown, the 2010 Big West Conference Player of the Year. "I was a lot slower than I am now. I was very immature and way out of control." Brown credited Fullerton's coaching staff with maximizing his skills. His most noticeable skill is his speed, which is why the Giants envision him doubling as a leadoff hitter and center fielder. Indicating that he'll relish AT&T Park's spacious outfield, Brown said, "As an outfielder, I like running down balls." A right-handed batter and thrower, Brown attributed his renowned speed mostly to natural ability. As he put it, "It's all Mom and Dad." But he added that being a "hell-raiser" as a youth kept him on the move. "I was always out running and climbing trees," Brown said, "scraping my knees and racing my buddies. I just developed that mentality that I didn't like to lose to my buddies." Brown has missed Fullerton's last eight games with a broken middle finger on his left hand. He's expected to be re-evaluated this week to determine whether he can participate in this weekend's NCAA Super Regionals at UCLA. The Giants face an Aug. 16 deadline to sign Brown, who's represented by Scott Boras.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.