Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Brazell rewarded for powerful season

Slugger earns Round-Tripper Award after leading Minors in home runs
September 18, 2007
Craig Brazell left the park 39 times and came back with some hardware.

Brazell's 39 homers during the season led the Minor Leagues and earned him the sixth annual Round-Tripper Award on Monday.

The 27-year-old slugger belted seven homers with Double-A Wichita before being promoted to Triple-A Omaha, where he blasted 13 homers in May. Brazell went deep nine times in June, hit three in July, and then seven more in August for the Royals. His powerful season included a five-game span from May 21-25 in which he launched eight longballs.

"That was a big part of the season," Brazell said. "I felt like I was unconscious. It was a great feeling."

It was not the only streak of his season, as Brazell homered in three straight games three times during the season, once with the Wranglers and twice with Omaha.

"It's what I've done my entire career," he said. "I've hit them in bunches. You'll hit one every day for five days and then not again for 10. I just went back to basics. I wanted to go out there and have fun. I stopped being so critical of my swing and used the mentality of 'see ball, hit ball,' and just let it be."

For his efforts, he will receive the Joe Bauman trophy and a check for $7,800 -- $200 for every home run.

"It'll be a nice Christmas present, probably a nice trip somewhere," Brazell said. "After the season, I'm going to take a break for three weeks. I'm going to enjoy my offseason, do some hunting, fishing, and play some golf. Then I'm going to try to add on to what I did this year."

His 39 dingers were three ahead of runner-up, Christopher Davis, who hit 24 with Class A Advanced Bakersfield and 12 for Double-A Frisco.

"Every now and then guys would tell me that they're one behind me," Brazell said. "There was no need to jeopardize what I'm doing by getting up there and swinging for the fences."

Brazell, signed by Kansas City as a free agent in December 2006, joins past Round-Tripper winners Kevin Witt (Durham, 2006), Brandon Wood (Rancho Cucamonga, 2005), Ryan Howard (Reading/Scranton-Wilkes/Barre, 2004), Graham Koonce (Sacramento, 2003) and Ivan Cruz (Memphis, 2002).

"You can't ask for anything more," Brazell said of being mentioned in the same breath of Howard, the 2006 National League MVP with Philadelphia. "He did it in the Minors and is continuing in the Majors. I'd love to get that opportunity and stay here in the big leagues. It's all about catching that break."

Brazell was added to the Kansas City roster on Sept. 5, and has walked and singled in his two plate appearance thus far.

Albuquerque Isotopes first baseman Val Pascucci claimed the Triple-A title with 34 homers, and Colby Rasmus hit 29 round trippers for the Double-A crown. Matt Whitney hit 16 apiece for Lake County and Kinston to lead Class A, and Brandon Waring went out of the park 20 times to take the Class A Short-Season prize. Each classification winner receives $500 for their achievements. --Michael Blinn

Michael Blinn is a contributor to