Hunter Brown Named a top pitching prospect in MLB
"MLB Pipeline will reveal its 2023 Top 100 Prospects list at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 26, with a one-hour show on MLB Network and MLB.com. Leading up to the release of the Top 100, we'll examine baseball's top 10 prospects at each position."- MLB
The MLB pipeline reveal kicked off yesterday, unveiling the top 10 prospects in the MLB at each position. Hunter Brown, widely believed to be the Astros best prospect, made the cut of their inaugural list--Top 10 right-handed pitchers.
The Wayne State product made his big league debut in a September call-up after overwhelming AAA pitchers all season, eventually pitching his way onto the playoff roster.
Brown was named the PCL Pitcher of the Year after stockpiling a 9-4 record, a 2.55 ERA, 134 strikeouts in 106 innings and a WHIP of 1.09. He managed to perform even better in his brief big league stint, making seven total appearances. He started twice and came out of the bullpen five times. In 20.1 innings of work, Brown struck out 22 while walking only seven, demonstrating his increased control.
Brown chipped in an additional 3.2 innings of scoreless work in the postseason, making two appearances in the ALDS against Seattle and one in the ALCS against New York.
He finished his initial big league season with an ERA of 0.89 and a WHIP of 1.08.
The MLB.com staff actually graded Brown's curveball ads the best of the bunch, noting his success neutralizing lefties with the pitch. Houston's top prospect held lefties to a .148 opponents' average against and 30.4 percent whiff rate.
It's Brown's slider that has the Houston faithful most fired up, however.
His third-career pitch as a big-leaguer was a 95.7 slider. Only Jacob DeGrom had thrown a harder slider all season. DeGrom, of course, needs no introduction.
Hopes are high for Brown after his tantalizing debut in 2022. He is expected to slot into the Astros rotation and fill in a good chunk of the innings his idol, Justin Verlander, threw in 2022. With a high 90's fastball, a top-notch 12-6 curve and an otherwordly slider, the sky truly is the limit for Brown.
Stay tuned for updates on what other Astros prospects, if any, make the cut for future lists.