The Houston Astros fell to the Miami Marlins 6-5 on Monday, but the number three rated prospect in the Astros’ system made his spring training debut. Hunter Brown, a fifth-round pick in 2019, has been ranked the best pitching prospect in Houston’s minor league system for the upcoming season.
At 22-years-old, the right-hander went one scoreless inning on Monday, while fanning one batter and giving up a hit. Brown hasn’t pitched past low-A in his minor league career with the pandemic cancelling the 2020 season.
Breaking down Brown’s first spring outing for the Astros:
Brown faced four Marlins on Monday, while giving up a single to Chaz Chisholm and a stolen base to open the top of the inning. It was nothing against the prospect’s mound approach; the speed behind Chisholm’s legs got him to second easily, which will benefit his young career.
The Astros’ prospect fanned Jorge Alfaro on a long at bat that left the Marlin falling across the plate. Brown has the off speed and movement to catch hitters chasing, as seen in this at bat:
Brown would get Miguel Rojas to line out and Corey Dickerson to ground out to end his first outing of the spring. While not being expected to make his MLB debut this season, the right-hander could be seen at the major league level within the following two years. This looked to be an outing for Brown to work on his off speed before recording two outs in play.
The right-hander has been an explosive strikeout pitcher, while fanning 12.5 per nine innings in the minor leagues. The future for Brown might come in the bullpen, as he works counts and accumulates a high pitch count until he catches hitters swinging and missing. Half of his minor league outings came out of the bullpen, so he could end up being a long reliever if he can get quicker outs down the road.
The Astros are back on the field on Tuesday against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie at 12:10 p.m. Peter Solomon is scheduled to start in his second outing this spring, after expected starter Zack Greinke left camp due to personal reasons.