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.
Let me start by thanking you for the creative questions you've presented me with the last couple of weeks.
With that same thought in mind, let me also reprimand those of you for the stranger questions I received! I don't mean to bash any of the questions or responses I got, because it was all extremely flattering, but some were a little out there and confusing. When reading some of them I felt a little confused (that same feeling a dog gets when it tries to kick the crap out of its own reflection in a mirror). Keep 'em coming though, they keep me on my feet!
I'm currently relaxing on my couch (rented), watching "Desperate Housewives" on my flat screen (rented) with my feet up on my coffee table (rented). You guys following the pattern? It's tough to lug furniture all the way across the country in my SUV, so my roommate, Wyatt Toregas, and I had to rent.
Besides, if I filled my car with furniture, how would I be able bring important things like extra hats and shoes? Kinda metro, I know, but I can't help it. I'm very materialistic (in a manly sort of way, for those of you keeping score at home).
I started my season in Norfolk and Richmond, Va., this past week. The Buffalo Bisons and I got a good test of pitching against the quality arms of the Orioles' and Braves' Triple-A affiliates.
As a whole, I think we fared well offensively in the rainy and cold conditions, and we've shown spurts of heavy artillery. However, it's still early and I know everybody isn't even close to their midseason stride.
We have a lot of talent on this ball club, and I haven't even scratched the surface of the pitching staff. The starters did very well putting us in a position to win ballgames, and the bullpen came in and did its job. We had a couple miscues, missed a couple opportunities with guys on base and left a couple of balls up in the zone.
We ended up 3-5 on the road trip but are constantly looking better and better. It's only a matter of time before we start firing on all cylinders and playing like we can.
For me, it's kind of a different feeling because I'm one of the younger guys on the team. It's cool because I'm learning a lot of little things about the game from the guys who have more experience than I do. I've started to pick up things like reading a pitcher's move, understanding how they are attacking me as a hitter, realizing good counts to run on (yes, I can steal a base every once in a while).
I know the readers at home are sitting there wondering who has dropped the knowledge hammer on me, but I don't want to give any of my teammates the satisfaction of knowing I look up to them in some ways.
The average fan doesn't realize how many little things can give you a strategic advantage in the game of baseball. I say this because I've been playing it my whole life and I'm still learning.
Many of the questions I received from younger baseball players, via email, revolved around hitting advice I have to offer. So, I thought I'd do you guys a little favor and offer some tips that have gotten me to the level I'm at right now. (Chris Frey, don't be afraid to pay attention and grab a notepad!).
Before I move on, I would like to announce that I will be throwing one of my buddies from the University of Arizona under the bus in every journal entry I write. Last week it was Trevor Crowe (who loves chick-flicks), and this week I had to roast Chris Frey because he is better than me at everything he tries and I hate it. Sorry that it had to be you, Frizzle.
On to my advice: work ethic and desire are two things every good player must possess to attain greatness. I've been around this game for a little while and have seen it ever since I got to college. There are many players who make a great living maximizing their talent because of their drive and motivation to be the best. That kind of player passes up the one with more talent and no desire. I've seen guys who have it all and can never harness that ability because they don't work hard, and it's sad to see.
I've also been asked about my approach at the plate, and it's pretty simple. My approach is always to try and hit the fastball back up the middle. I was never that way in college -- DEAD PULL BABY!!!! -- but that doesn't translate into hits with wood bats. That is always my main approach unless I have a reason to think otherwise.
Quote of the week: "Which comes first, confidence or success? Do you need success to have confidence or do you wake up with it after an 0-for-4 night?"
Jordan Brown is a first-base prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization and a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.