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.
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Hello from Buffalo.
We just had an interesting game tonight where we scored six runs to tie it in the ninth, and one to win it in extras, so I decided to write the journal tonight while I'm still in a good mood. You never know what's gonna happen tomorrow, ha ha.
It's every eligible amateur baseball player's holiday Thursday as the 2008 Draft begins. I call it a holiday because there will be some serious gift-giving from multiple general managers through the first couple rounds.
Some players will be disappointed as they don't hear their name called in the round their agent, parents, other ballplayers or "homies" told them they'd fit in. I've heard and seen so many cases where players think they'll be picked in the first couple rounds, but fall toward the 6-10th round range. On the flip side, I've also heard of guys who expect to go in the 5-10th round range and end up in the second or third round, which is an early Christmas gift.
Every year, no matter what the scenario, there will be plenty of players who look at the Draft and say, "That guy went two rounds ahead of me?!!!!" Trust me, it's gonna happen, I know from experience: I was that guy who players looked at shockingly ahead of them. I can see it now: "How did that Brown guy go ahead of me? I can outrun him backwards and I haven't seen him hit a ball to the left of the second baseman all year!"
In 2005, my Draft day was pretty extraordinary because it fell on June 6, which is also my father's birthday. I remember it so clearly even to this day because I had been looking forward to it all year in hopes to steal some team's money, I mean, perform for them.
We (Arizona) had just lost a very disappointing regional at Cal State Fullerton the night before, which we clearly should've won (sorry Fullerton fans, our team was loaded that year). We were actually at LAX airport flying back to Tucson to pack up our lockers the day of the Draft. It was a very bittersweet day for many of us because we knew that even though we had another year of eligibility, this was our last day as a Arizona Wildcat.
The Draft started about an hour or so before our flight took off, so you can imagine how long a two-hour flight seemed for us on that plane. I knew that it was probably between the Angels or Indians, so I was excited either way.
Imagine my surprise when Trevor Crowe received a call reporting he had been taken as the Indians' first pick at 14th overall. This made the anxiety even worse because I started wondering how cool it could be if we both rose through the organization together on the same team.
I sat next to Nick Hundley on that short flight home and everybody knew he would be taken in the first couple rounds, because it's rare to find a catcher who can do it all. To ease my nerves, I had to absolutely demolish him in a card game called "31" the whole way home as I slowly took all of his per diem. Anyways, the plane landed and we both checked our voicemails nervously. He looked at me grinning and said, "Padres, second round."
I called my agent after not receiving a voicemail regarding the Draft and nervously asked, 'Where are they at right now?' He said, "They just ended the third round, but the Indians are taking you early in the fourth," and I felt this huge weight finally leave my shoulders.
So all in all, it was a crazy day because I knew my life was gonna change for the better from that day forward.
Just a little side note: my Arizona Wildcats are facing the Miami Hurricanes in the Super Regionals this weekend at Coral Gables. I'd like to wish all of them good luck in the Draft and in the playoffs. As long as none of them come to the Indians and take my spot. Everybody knows they groom 'em right over there.
Keep the questions coming.
Jeep Kust from Wisconsin asks, "What is real life in the Minor Leagues like?"
To try and paraphrase this question is a daunting task because I can take the answer in many different directions. You try and stay positive during rougher times because there is a large payoff at the end if you do it right. There are basically 10 off-days in six months, and some of the off-days are travel days. With that being said, you could have a game end at 10:30 one night, meaning the bus will depart around 11:30, and have a five- to seven-hour bus ride back home, then turn around and play that same day when you get in at 5 a.m. You have to be very dedicated and understand what the prize is in the end.
Kevin Chmura asks, "What are some good conditioning tips during the offseason?"
Lots of sprinting drills. I try to do a lot of sprinting drills typically, but was unable to really get into it this year because I had a bad case of patellar tendonitis. Long-distance training trains your slow-twitch muscles (thus making you slower, and doesn't improve your speed), so I sprint as much as I can. I try to get at least five or six days of conditioning a week when I'm training really hard. My suggestion to you is to train with explosive movements, because baseball is an explosive game.
Quote of the Week... "Baseball doesn't build character....It reveals it."