What Can Brown Do for You? Saints Sign Rochester Native, Pitcher Mitch Brown
ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints bullpen was one of its strengths in the 2018 season as they marched towards the American Association Championship Series. With many of those pitchers either signed by Major League organizations, or retiring, manager George Tsamis needs to retool for 2019. He has added a hurler that has both started and relieved and is coming off the best season of his career in right-hander, and former Rochester Century High standout, Mitch Brown.
The 24-year-old Brown spent all of last season at Double-A Akron and was superb going 1-5 and four saves with a 1.99 ERA in 37 relief appearances. In 45.1 innings pitched he walked 36 and fanned 52 while opponents hit a meager .166 against him. For the second consecutive season he was used strictly as a reliever and settled into the role. He began the season by not allowing a run in his first eight appearances (9.1 IP). He did not allow a run in 27 of his 37 outings and allowed two earned runs just twice. He fanned at least one batter in his first 18 relief appearances and in 32 of 37 outings. His team reached the Eastern League Championship Series before losing three-games-to-one to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Brown was a second-round pick by the Cleveland Indians in 2012 out of Rochester Century High School. He began his career that year in the Arizona League and went 2-0 with a 3.58 ERA in eight starts. In 27.2 innings pitched he walked 10 and struck out 26 while opponents hit a meager .204 against him. His best outing came on April 15 when he hurled 5.0 no-hit innings, while fanning five, against the Royals.
In 2013 Brown began the season at Single-A Lake County and went 1-1 with an 11.49 ERA in five games before being assigned to extended spring and continuing the season with the Arizona Indians in mid-June. While there he went 2-4 with a 5.37 ERA in 12 games (10 starts). In 52.0 innings he walked 29 and struck out 48 while opponents hit .284 against him. His team reached the playoffs, but lost in the one game quarterfinal to the Rangers.
Brown was a workhorse in 2014 as he spent the entire season with Lake County. He went 8-8 with a 3.31 ERA in 27 starts. In 138.2 innings pitched he walked 55 and struck out 127 while opponents hit just .226 against him. He was stellar during the second half of the season going 8-2 with a 2.32 ERA and won his final six decisions. Brown finished tied for third in games started and fifth in strikeouts. He allowed just three earned runs over five starts from June 10-July 2 (34.2 IP) and four earned runs over his final seven starts (41.0 IP) from July 25-August 27. Brown tossed at least 6.0 innings in nine starts and allowed two runs or less while pitching at least 6.0 innings eight times. The impressive numbers earned him MiLB.com Organizational All-Star recognition.
In 2015 Brown got his first taste at High-A pitching for Lynchburg and went 9-12 with a 5.15 ERA in 27 games (26 starts). In 141.2 innings pitched he walked 77 and struck out 109 while opponents hit .275 against him. Once again, he was much better in the second half of the season with an ERA of more than a run less. He finished tied for second in starts and third in innings pitched. His team reached the playoffs, but lost two-games-to-none in the semi-finals to Wilmington. Brown fanned a career high nine on July 24. He went at least 6.0 innings in 12 starts with his best outing coming on June 10 against Salem, hurling 7.1 shutout innings on one hit.
The transformation to reliever came in 2016 where Brown pitched in Lynchburg again and went 4-6 with a 5.03 ERA in 36 appearances (17 starts). In 98.1 innings pitched he walked 77 and struck out 120 while opponents hit just .229 against him. Brown finished fourth in the league in strikeouts and his team reached the Championship Series losing three-games-to-one to Myrtle Beach. His final 18 appearances were out of the bullpen and he was 2-0 with a 3.28 ERA in 19 relief appearances. Opponents hit just .159 against him.
The full-time ascent to reliever was complete in 2017 where Brown spent the entire season at Double-A Akron. He was 1-2 with a 6.33 ERA and four saves in 33 relief outings. In 48.1 innings pitched he walked 39 and struck out 40 while opponents hit .238 against him. His best stretch came over six appearances from May 7-29 when he didn't allow a run in 12.0 innings pitched.
In his career Brown has fanned 8.6/9 IP and has had three different years where he struck out more than 10/9 IP including an astounding 11.0 in 2016.
Brown is a graduate of Rochester Century High School where he was named the ESPN.com Player of the Year, Pioneer Press Player of the Year, Minnesota Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year, First Team All-State, and First Team All-Conference as a senior. He was 7-1 with a 0.98 ERA and 108 strikeouts that season.
The Saints have signed six players this off-season.
P Mitch Brown
P Eddie Medina
INF Josh Allen
INF Devon Rodriguez
INF Joey Wong
OF Max Murphy
The Saints begin the 2019 season with a 10-game homestand. Opening Day is Thursday, May 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the newest member of the Milwaukee Milkmen.
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