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Player Journal: Brown trying to get in flow05/01/2008 9:00 AM ET
By Jordan Brown
Indians prospect Jordan Brown rides the momentum of back-to-back Most Valuable Player campaigns into the 2008 season. The University of Arizona product received Eastern League top honors in 2007 after leading the circuit in hitting (.333) while adding 11 homers and 76 RBIs. He also posted MVP numbers (.290-15-97) in 2006 at Kinston of the Carolina League.
Hello again everybody from Gotham City. ... Just kidding, I mean Buffalo. Sometimes I'll leave the ballpark and look for the bat symbol in the sky above the skyline.
As I continue to try and climb the ladder and improve my game in Triple-A, I've been a little inconsistent. I have yet to hit a streak of more than 15 at-bats or so to get me rolling in the direction I need to be. But that's OK, because I've never really been a hot starter in the first place.
I started my first year in Kinston around .210 with no homers after about 150 at-bats. But I worked hard and realized that I had a lot more at-bats left to save my season and help the team win. With that being said, I'm stoked to be around .280 or so. The good news is that I'm feelin' good at the plate and have a positive outlook on the rest of the season, despite my early struggles.
I decided to get my hair cut Tuesday because I've been so lazy and focused on baseball that I accepted my close resemblance to Sideshow Bob. I drove around for awhile and found one of 100,000 Supercuts across this great country. So I walked in and made the mistake of paying $20 for a haircut that took three minutes to complete. I'm pretty sure I didn't walk in and say, "Hey, make me look like a marine." But later that day almost every guy in the clubhouse walked by me and said one of two things: "At ease, Soldier" or "Hooorahhhh." I felt like I was getting "punked" on MTV when I left that place.
Back to baseball, over the past three weeks or so, I've started to pick up a couple trends I've noticed throughout the games. For instance, certain teams always throw 3-2 offspeed as a general rule (I won't name them). I looked back at the game charts because I was a little taken back because of some backward pitching and was shocked when I saw the number of breaking balls and changeups.
I'm also starting to see the better pitchers in Triple-A have the ability to throw three or four pitches for strikes at any point in time. I got into a little bit of a rut because I started swinging at hitter's count offspeed just because it was a strike, not because it was a good pitch to hit. When I noticed myself doing that, I started stepping out of the box and using a mental reminder to stay patient and wait for my pitch to drive. However, it's tough to be patient because sometimes you don't get a great pitch to drive. You just have to tip your hat to the pitcher and realize that he probably won't do it again next at bat. If he freezes you again, then that guy better watch his back when he gets back to the hotel.
The first journal I wrote, I threw Trevor Crowe under the bus (for wearing velour Michael Jordan jumpsuits around like he's Michael Vick). The second journal, it was Chris Frey (who thinks his golf game is like Phil Mickelson, even though he's more like Charles Barkley). This week, I thought I'd tell a funny story about a good friend of mine, Nick Hundley, who is having an outstanding season for the Portland Beavers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Padres.
When we were sophomores at Arizona, Nick's father (who I am still scared of -- I'm convinced there is a crazed man under that soft and gentle exterior, just kidding), was the defensive coordinator of the Washington Huskies. They were in town playing a struggling University of Arizona football team that was at the bottom of the Pac-10, and they were supposed to lay the smackdown on us.
Anyway, we were at the game in the student section drinking ... soda ... and looking for Nick. He was a diehard fan of his father's college. If they lost, you didn't wanna talk to him for a solid business day. Turns out, he was sitting in the Washington section with his family on the other side of the field.
The game starts and nothing goes Washington's way and Arizona wins a HUGE upset game and the crowd -- including us -- rushes the field. I was staring directly at Nick and his family the whole time. From the look in his eyes, you'd think we stole his Mac N' Cheese microwaveable bowls away from him. (If Nick was president, those bowls would be the nation's currency).
Quote of the day: "When you're struggling, you're not as bad as it seems. However when you're rolling, you're not as good as you think."
Hope you all enjoyed this entry and keep the questions and responses rolling.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.