San Francisco Giants Prospects: Gary Brown 2013 Projection


Gary Brown of the San Jose Giants.

Gary Brown of the San Jose Giants.

Drafted 24th overall by the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 Major League Baseball Player Draft, 24-year old center fielder Gary Brown is making a strong case to open the 2013 season in Triple-A Fresno. Currently rated as the Giants top minor league prospect, Brown projects as a quality major league center fielder with plus defensive skills and good speed at the top of the order.

In his first full season of minor league ball with the San Jose Giants in 2011 in which he batted leadoff every game, Brown tore up the competition. On his way to swiping 53 bases that year, Brown also set the San Jose Giants hits record with 188 in just 131 games played. At the end of 2011, Brown was rated as the Giants best minor league hitter for average, fastest base runner, best athlete, and best defensive player by Baseball America.

In 2012, Gary Brown spent the entire season with the Giants Double-A affiliate, Richmond Flying Squirrels. Although his numbers were not as impressive in Richmond as they were in San Jose, there was a lot of talk within the Giants organization of promoting Brown to the majors in 2012. In 134 total games in Double-A, Brown finished the ’12 season hitting .279 with 33 stolen bases.

While Brown has shown the ability to set the base paths on fire, he has also shown a troubling propensity to get caught stealing. Thrown out 19 times in ’11 and 18 times in ’12, Brown’s success rate has been rather pedestrian. While his speed has never been the issue, Brown’s problems have been contributed to hesitation and bouts of poor decision making, an area he has focused on while working to correct a hitch in his slide.


Another area of concern for Brown last season was his struggle to consistently hit right-handed pitching. Although finishing the season with a .264 against righties was not tragic for the up and comer, Brown must improve to bring his game to the next level.

The resigning of 31 year old Angel Pagan to a new 4-year contract means youngster Brown has some time to develop and his work cut out for him. With his sights set on cracking the Giants major league roster, the 2013 season could prove to be a big one for Brown who undoubtedly wants to show that he has made the necessary adjustments from his 2012 campaign and that his breakout 2011 season was no fluke.

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~Stamati Horiates

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  • Bill Taylor says:

    Nice summary! Is this long enough?

  • David says:

    This is a nice addition to the site’s coverage. Most players have careers in the minors. The few get called up in September — or when a starter gets hurt. But they are largely below media radar.

    Our local minor league team is the Albuquerque Isotopes. I’ve never been to one of their games, partly because they are the top farm team for the Dodgers. When Manny Ramirez was reinstated for PED use, he played a game with the Isotopes, and fans turned out for him.

  • Steverino says:

    While 19 CS out of 72 attempts isn’t great at the MLB level, how does it compare to single A, where Brown was playing that season?

    (It is concerning that his success rate dropped so much from A to AA.)

  • Stamati Horiates says:


    A 74% (53 out of 72) rate isn’t terrible for the majors but you’d like to see his success rate higher while in the minors because you would expect it to get harder to steal with each level you advance. Naturally, pitchers do a better job of holding you on base and catchers have stronger arms to throw you out.

    Fortunately for Brown, the concern is not his speed but with his technique. Technique can be fixed while he isn’t likely going to get much faster than he is now.

  • Stamati Horiates says:


    I’ve actually been to an Isotopes game and I would highly recommend that you go. The park is beautiful and tickets are cheap. Don’t think of it as supporting the Dodgers, just think of it as catching some quality baseball at an amazing price.

    Minor League parks are very fan-friendly and give you a greater chance to get autographs, pictures, and interact with the players.

    Besides chasing road runners and taking hot air balloon rides, what else is there to do?

  • Ron Blair says:

    I dispute tha contention that there was talk within the Giant’s organization that Brown might be brought up in 2012. Sabean has been quite strong in saying that Brown and Panik wouldn’t be rushed up the way that Crawford and Belt were. Unless Brown has an outstanding Spring I see him starting at AA and then moving up to AAA if and when it’s merited.

  • Stamati Horiates says:


    I’ll agree with you that Crawford and Belt were a bit rushed and that’s why the decision was ultimately made to not do the same with Brown.

    As far as deciding what level he starts at this year will be more based on where they feel he can learn the most and from what coaches they want him to work with.

    If the Giants want to give him that ‘natural progression’ through the minors like they have shown tendencies to do in the past then I think all signs point to him starting in Fresno…but we’ll see.

  • Bud kelly says:

    I know your not going to like this but he will never make it … our CF ….. he has 2 tools speed & glove and no power now or ever>> What the heck are you always taulking about him?

  • John says:

    Bud, I don’t know why you’re tryin to pee on everybodys cheerios. Obviously the guy still has a few things to work on, but he has a lot of upside. In every trade bein discussed before the trade deadline, with the Giants, GMs were all asking for him. And who says you need a lot of power to be a leadoff hitter? Get on base and tear up the basepaths, he can do that. Not to mention we need his 80 speed to cover the vast outfield that is AT&T Park.

  • Jared says:

    First off this is a very good article but here are my thoughts about Gary Brown. He has wheels like Willie Mays Hayes but just can’t seem to put the ball on the bat. His swing is very slappy, very linear, very short to the ball. The thing I always liked the most about Brown wasn’t the speed, it was that I thought he had a chance to be a really good defensive center fielder. I still do…As long as he stays in center, he can be an average regular. At the end of the day if I was the GM, I would trade him now while his stock is high!!

  • Johnny Polanco says:

    Package him in a trade for Giancarlo Stanton, that’s the way to get the best use out of him.

  • He is going to be a lead off hitter. Get someone to work with him on his basestealing. getting a jump ect. Remember Bret Butler. Most of our pitchers had more power than he did but he was the best lead off hitter we’ve had since Eddie Stanky. Of course I disowned him after he went to the Dodgers and started mouthing off about how he always loved Dodger Blue. Let Brown worry about getting on base not home runs.

  • Bud kelly says:

    I don’t see us needing him for about 2/3 years and if he isn’t hitting well over 300+ and using his speed properly on the bases………
    Well just another fast guy going no place ..

    We just don’t need another fast guy with a good glove and no bat…… I hope the heck it all changes and I have to eat crow and for the team I will do it with a smile , Come on Brown hit the dam ball……..!