In the right field corner, out of Dallas, Texas, weighing in at 185 lbs., this 29-year old veteran of seven minor league seasons, only has 129 games of MLB experience. He signed with the Mets last January after his release from the Colorado Rockies. Now in his second spring with the club, Andrew Brown faces a far tougher challenge in securing a back-up role, than perhaps last season’s conditions posed.
In the left field corner, out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, weighing 205 lbs., this 26-year old was the Mets 5th round selection of the 2010 amateur draft. A veteran of four minor league seasons, he broke his wrist during Grapefruit League play last year, which effectively cleared the way for Brown to gain an extra measure of playing time. He returned to play 14 games for Port St. Lucie, and 53 games for AAA-Las Vegas, before finally making his MLB debut on August 29th. Likewise entering his second spring with the Mets, Matt den Dekker will be competing for the same back-up role as Andrew Brown.
The additions of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young suddenly made Andrew Brown’s world, in particular, a crowded, and far more competitive place to earn a living. Eric Young and Juan Lagares round out the top four Mets outfielders. And, with first base still an unsettled mess, Lucas Duda could still conceivably trump both Brown and Dekker for the fifth outfield spot. Therefore, heading into this year’s Grapefruit League play, Brown’s margin for error is already slim.
Obviously, Matt den Dekker is far easier to handle. When the Mets head north, they can just assign him to Las Vegas if needed. I feel, however, Andrew Brown’s situation is a bit more dire. Rapidly approaching 30-years of age, and with little MLB experience, his general window of opportunity may be closing.
He was raised, if not mired in the rich St. Louis Cardinals farm system, and reached their AAA level in his fifth season. Brown then spent 2012 with Colorado’s AAA affiliate before signing with the Mets.
With over 2,200 total minor league at-bats, he is a career .286 minor league hitter, with a .370 OBP, a .522 slugging average, and an .892 OPS. In 902 at-bats, and 258 games played at the AAA level, he is a .305 hitter, a .570 slugger, with 51 home runs, and 212 runs batted in.
Andrew appeared in a career high 68 MLB games last season. In 150 at-bats, he slugged a curious .400, hitting more home runs, than doubles. Otherwise, his 2013 effort similarly resembled his 2012 MLB production. On that note, I have a saying – Once is an event. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a trend.
If he wants to stick around, ideally speaking, the time has come then for Andrew Brown’s minor league exploits to start translating at the major league level. At his age, his future is far more uncertain, than say, Matt den Dekker’s is, who, I imagine, already has a leg up on the remaining competition.
As trade rumors continue to swirl around Ike Davis, there’s hope for a first base solution yet, which would remove Lucas Duda from Brown’s things to worry about. But, Andrew’s is still a transient existence, as the Mets might be compelled to do something at the trade deadline. His potential roster spot, more so than Andrew Brown himself, strikes me as the team’s least secure.