Saints Add Lefty To Bullpen, Former Third Round Pick Aaron BrownJul 23, 2020
SIOUX FALLS, SD (July 23, 2020) – The St. Paul Saints have gone through the first couple of weeks of the season with just one left-handed pitcher on their roster. You can now make it two. The Saints signed former Philadelphia Phillies third round pick Aaron Brown to help strengthen the bullpen.
The 28-year-old Brown spent all of 2019 at Double-A Reading and went 5-4 with a 3.82 ERA in 45 relief appearances. In 66.0 innings pitched he walked 35 and struck out 81 while opponents hit .239 against him. He finished fifth in the Eastern League with 45 appearances. Brown went 12.0 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run over seven appearances from May 15-June 3 and didn’t allow an earned run in 28 of the 45 appearances.
Brown was a third-round pick by the Phillies in 2014 out of Pepperdine University and was drafted as an outfielder. He spent the first three years in the Phillies organization as a position player before converting to a pitcher during his fourth season. Brown’s final game as a position player came on May 29, 2017. In his time as a position player he hit .253 with 22 home runs and 116 RBI in 324 games. In 1027 at bats he scored 132 runs, drilled 48 doubles, nine triples, swiped 23 bases, a .317 on base percentage, and a .382 slugging percentage.
During the 2017 season Brown was sent to the Gulf Coast League to begin his pitching career and pitched in four games at the GCL allowing three runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings pitched. He was promoted to High-A Clearwater on July 27 and went 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA in 10 relief appearances. In 13.2 innings pitched he walked 11 and struck out 14 while opponents hit .309 against him.
In his first full season as a pitcher, Brown began the 2018 season at Clearwater and went 2-4 with a 4.91 ERA and four saves in 28 relief appearances. In 36.2 innings pitched he walked 17 and struck out 41 while opponents hit .307 against him. He fanned at least one batter in 13 consecutive appearances from April 18-May 30, including five in 2.0 innings on May 10 vs. Daytona. He did not give up an earned run in 19 of his 28 appearances. Brown was promoted to Reading on July 2 and went 1-2 with a 4.88 ERA and one save in 18 relief appearances. In 24.0 innings pitched he walked 23 and struck out 17 while opponents hit .203 against him.
Brown was originally drafted in the 17th round in 2011 out of Chatsworth (CA) High School but did not sign and instead elected to go to Pepperdine (CA) University. While there he was a two-way player and was named to the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Midseason Watch List as a freshman, pitching 16 games and playing 38 games in the field in 2013.
Prior to his sophomore season, Brown was selected to the pre-season Baseball America All-American list as a utility player. He finished the year as an All-WCC Honorable Mention. Following his sophomore season, Brown was selected in the 30th round by the Cleveland Indians in 2013, but did not sign.
The move paid off as Brown had an incredible junior season in 2014. On the mound he was 13-1 with a 1.95 ERA and a complete game shutout in 17 starts. In 115.2 innings pitched he walked 40 and struck out 104 while opponents hit just .212 against him. In the field he hit .314 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI in 61 games. In 242 at bats he scored 44 runs, slugged 13 doubles, three triples, a .354 on base percentage, and a .554 slugging percentage. Brown received several accolades being named as a John Olerud Award finalist and named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list and National Pitcher of the Year watch list. He also received other national honors as an ABCA All-American first team and NCBWA/Collegiate Baseball/Perfect Game/Baseball America All-American second team. He was honored on both sides of the field as an ABCA All-Region First Team Pitcher and Second Team as an outfielder. He was named the WCC Pitcher of the Year, leading all NCAA in wins. Brown was first in the conference in strikeouts (104) & home runs hit (13), and second in ERA (1.95) & RBI (49).
In order to make room for Brown the Saints released utility player JC Millan who was hitting .280 with one home run and six RBI. The Saints are at the league maximum 23 players, 12 pitchers and 11 position players.