Let’s get to know the Houston Astros third round draft pick, Vanderbilt pitcher Tyler Brown.
Despite having a farm system that has no shortage of right-handed pitching talent, and despite the fact that he used the team’s first pick in the 2020 draft on a right-handed pitcher, Houston Astros GM James Click went to the well again with the third round pick. But when you find out more about Tyler Brown, it’s hard to disagree with the choice.
Brown has spent the past three seasons pitching for Vanderbilt University, one of college’s premier programs. He’s pitched almost exclusively in relief, though the Astros will apparently try to develop him as a starter. It looks like he expects to sign, so there should be no problems there.
The Scouting Report
Brown has had plenty of success as the Vanderbilt closer. He set a school record with 17 saves in 2019, pitching to a 2.19 ERA with 11.9 strikeouts per nine, 1.6 walks per nine, 6.4 hits per nine and 0.2 homers per nine. He put up a 2.53 ERA in seven appearances in 2020.
His fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s and has some running action that allows him to miss bats. His best offspeed offering is a mid-80s slider, but he also offers a deep mid-70s curveball and changeup in the low 80s. With a four-pitch mix, it’s easy to see why the Astros want to try him as a starter.
He’s displayed a tendency to throw strikes with consistency and has a strong frame at 6’4″ and 242 pounds. He was ranked No. 133 among MLB.com’s Top 200 draft prospects, so by all appearances the Astros are getting a solid young player with plenty of upside.
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If they’re getting a good player, it seems like they’re getting an even better person. Brown’s life story could be made into a film, and he’s exactly the type of player fans will want to root for. You can’t help but want to see this guy succeed.
Brown, a native of Ohio, lost his mother to cancer when he was 13 and was estranged from his father. He bounced around between a few homes after her death before being adopted by a kindred spirit who helped him continue his baseball career and get him caught up academically, where he had fallen far behind.
Then, while pitching for Vanderbilt Coach Tim Corbin on a scouting visit, he tore the UCL in his pitching elbow and had to undergo Tommy John surgery. Corbin remained interested while other coaches shied away, though, and Brown eventually rewarded him.
Then, shortly before enrolling at Vanderbilt, Brown found out he was going to be a father. When his daughter was born in March 2018, she had Down syndrome as well as a serious heart condition that required multiple surgeries.
But, thankfully, she has survived, and Brown’s attitude is amazing. “I am so proud to stand with Bella as my child with Down syndrome,” he said. “How could I have ever doubted God? Bella has turned into the biggest blessing.”
Brown is the type of player an entire fan base can rally around, and he’s pretty talented on the field too. Here’s hoping he makes it to the big leagues and has a long, successful career with the Astros.