Fort Myers, Florida —— Entering play on Tuesday night, Baltimore Orioles outfield prospect Jacob Brown is slashing .208/.247/.429/.675 over 77 at-bats in 20 games for the Gulf Coast League‘s Gulf Coast League Orioles, with three doubles, a triple, four home runs, three walks, and 23 strikeouts. I observed the 18-year-old North Carolina native in a July 26 game on the road aginst the GCL Twins; below is Baseball Census‘ full Jacob Brown scouting report, including video.
Jacob Brown Scouting Report — Video
Our video of Baltimore Orioles outfield prospect Jacob Brown shows his at-bats across that July 26 game against the Gulf Coast League Twins from an open-faced point of view:
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Jacob Brown Scouting Report — Notes
An 18-year-old drafted out of a North Carolina high school in June, Jacob Brown is as raw as you’d imagine a player of his age and experience to be, but there’s some maturity there lurking beneath the surface. The outfielder is a very good athlete, who was running sub-7.00 60-yard-dash times regularly in high school while also touching 89 mph on the mound; the Baltimore Orioles have obviously chosen to make him a position player here, and growing natural strength and an athletic profile in the field may make that the right move. Brown has a line drive swing that’s fairly compact, and a good swing plane with above-average bat speed combine to allow him to drive the ball with authority, especially to his pull side. He needs to work on patience and strike zone discipline at the plate, as do most 18-year-old kids, but I think his pitch recognition is actually pretty good and that’ll serve him well down the road. He has sneaky raw power that will continue to manifest itself in over-the-fence results as he better learns strike zone discipline; when he finds the barrel, he can hit the ball very, very hard.
In the outfield he has a very good arm, no doubt a product of his days pitching in high school, and Brown can use it to play any of the three outfield positions right now with ease. Long term, he’s probably better suited for center field, or even left field, to allow his speed to play up—and while his arm strength is good, I think it’s likely it’ll end up as only slightly above-average in a few years’ time, making him a better fit for the other two over right field. That said he’s athletic enough to handle all three and he reads the ball well off the bat now, so the door is far from closed on him asserting himself at any of the three positions.
Jacob Brown Scouting Report — Projection
Jacob Brown is very raw, and he’s a ways away from finding himself on the radar for the Baltimore Orioles, but I like the athletic base he has and the already growing raw power at the plate. He’ll be best served by continuing to hit for power like that, as his speed plus some over-the-fence pop will help him stand out among his peers. Long term, he must improve strike zone discipline, and even if strikeouts are to be a part of his game, as they are for so many, Brown must prove he’s discerning enough to lay off balls in the dirt and off the plate so as to walk enough to provide on-base value as a speedy table-setter. He had committed to High Point University before deciding to sign with the Baltimore Orioles, and I think Jacob Brown made the right move in turning pro now, even despite being just an 18th round draft pick; several years of development could do wonders for him, and turn the above-average athlete into a dynamic pro baseball player.
Unlikely to find himself on a top prospect list for the next several years, I think Jacob Brown can nevertheless fly under the radar as an interesting development case for Baltimore. He has the athletic tools to build upon, and a feel for the game more advanced than what you’d expect in a teenager playing out his first few weeks of professional baseball. There’s a long, long way to go, but Jacob Brown may yet line everything up into place and put himself on the radar in the next several seasons as he fully transitions into pro ball.