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Roster review: Corey Brown

Nov 22, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Age on Opening Day 2014: 28

How acquired: Trade with Athletics, Dec. 2010

MLB service time: 94 days

2013 salary+bonuses: N/A

Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2017, free agent in 2020

2013 Stats: 14 G, 15 PA, 12 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 2B, HR, RBI, SB, 3 BB, 4 SO, .167 BA, .833 OPS, 126 OPS+, 0.0 WAR

2013 analysis: Corey Brown spent the majority of his 2013 season at Triple-A Syracuse and missed a month early in the year due to an oblique injury. Because of the time lost, he only appeared in 107 minor league games before getting the call to Washington in early September. The outfielder couldn’t quite recreate his standout 2012 season in Triple-A, but once again had a solid campaign. In those 107 games with the Chiefs he batted .254 with 57 runs, 19 home runs, 56 RBI and 26 doubles.

Brown stayed in the minors for nearly the entire season despite there being a need at the big league level for a lefty bench bat. Even when Roger Bernandina was hitting below the Mendoza line all year, the Nats stuck with him through 85 games before cutting him loose. Even then Brown didn’t get a shot. He finally made it back to the majors as a September call-up for the third consecutive season.

2014 outlook: Brown is the lone remnant of the trade that sent Josh Willingham to the Athletics, and because Henry Rodriguez didn’t work out, one would think they’d like to see what they have in the former first round pick. But given he hasn’t been called on for an extended period of time, he may not fit in the Nationals’ future plans. Brown, after all, has never been a star in the minors, he’s just been decent.

If Brown could help the Nats it would be on their bench as a backup outfielder and left-handed bat for pinch-hit situations. He’s posted an .820 OPS or better against right-handers the last two seasons with Syracuse and hit .342 with runners in scoring position and two outs (86 PAs) in 2013. Those numbers suggest he would at least warrant an opportunity. And given the Nats’ need to significantly improve their bench, perhaps he gets a look. He’ll once again be in spring training battling for a roster spot, and with a new coaching staff, who knows who will catch their eye. Having new coaches could mean renewed opportunities for guys like Brown. Maybe a fresh start is what he needs.

  1. NatsLady - Nov 22, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    I don’t think worrying about getting value from the Willingham trade is any motivation to Rizzo after all these years. In the first place, the trade was more about dealing Willingham (and his salary and his roster spot) to get younger and cheaper. Secondly, Brown will be evaluated on his merit–as he should be. Fans remember these trades WAY more than front-office people, because the front-office is focused on the present and future.

    However, I agree that a new look at Brown by Williams is warranted, and we’ll see in spring training. I’m dubious, because although he has tools he hasn’t seemed to put them together.

    • therealjohnc - Nov 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      What people forget is that the Nats traded Willingham because he was entering his free agent year and the Nats had a replacement for him (Morse) who actually outhit Willingham in 2011. The Nats got a couple of team controlled players with a lot of upside, and neither panned out. That’s baseball – a lot of prospects don’t make it. But a lot of fans criticize the Willingham trade because of what Willingham has done the last couple of years, especially in 2012 for the Twins. But the Nats were never going to have that production anyway, because Willingham would have left in free agency.

  2. Jw - Nov 22, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    AAAA.

  3. NatsLady - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    This is what Baseball America had to say about Micheal Taylor, who is playing winter ball in Puerto Rico.

    4. Michael Taylor, of, Nationals: Taylor is a terrific defender in center field, with plus speed and good instincts that help him cover huge amounts of ground. His plus arm and accurate throws make him a potential Gold Glove winner if he can hit enough to hold down an every day job. The bat is the big question on Taylor, who spent his second full season in the high Class A Carolina League, but his performance in the first few weeks of the Puerto Rican League has been encouraging. Taylor, 22, has hit .412/.474/.588 in 57 plate appearances, leading the league in batting average, OBP and slugging.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/te-winter-league-prospects-to-watch-in-puerto-rico-mexico/

    • Joe Seamhead - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      NatsLady, I hope Michael Taylor pans out, but I’ve read a couple of reports that pretty much said that he is awful similar to Justin Maxwell, both in his strengths and his weaknesses, especially his swing.

  4. natsjackinfl - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Rosenthal reporting Bourjous to the Cards presumably for Freese.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Angels with another poor trade. Bourjous is worth much more. Freese was a potential non-tender as he is due a big raise in arbitration and no longer in the Cardinals plans.

    • blovy8 - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      So Kolten Wong becomes the 2nd baseman with Carpenter over to 3rd? Or is there another guy the Cards have or are looking to sign?

  5. blovy8 - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Freese was hurt enough that I don’t see him getting a big bump. The Angels’ needed a 3B pretty badly, and Trout really should be in center where he can add more defensively.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      The rich get richer in the case of the Cardinals.

      • blovy8 - Nov 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        The worst thing about it is they got a pretty good OF prospect too. Well, at least It didn’t address their SS situation. They probably aren’t done trading, since they have Craig and Adams at first, if they plan to play Holliday, Bourjos, and Tavaras in the OF. It probably makes Jay expendable at his arbitration price too.

  6. Theophilus T.S. - Nov 22, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Bourjos doesn’t bump Jay out of the lineup. He’s had one useful season out of four, is now a permanent subbie. Essentially he fills what used to be Schumaker’s seat on the Cardinals bench. Having said that, almost anything they got in return for Freese was a plus. The Cardinals needed to improve two slots in their batting order and, coincidentally their IF, and Wong/Carpenter will fix one.

    • blovy8 - Nov 22, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      Bourjos hasn’t been exactly the picture of health though.

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 22, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    guessing Carp takes over everyday 3B for Cards. They can trade/sign a SS and then hand 2B over to Wong. Once they bring back Beltran, they will be set I think.

    • jd - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      I thought the plan was to move Craig to the outfield along with Holiday and Jay and with Tavares coming I am not sure what the point of Bourjos is unless they are planning more moves. It could be just a salary dump of Freese who has really flattened out after his monster post season 3 years ago.

  8. David Proctor - Nov 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Did anyone read Kilgore’s piece on Drew Storen? It’s a great read.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/11/22/inside-drew-storens-turnaround/

    • jd - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      Great article. I hope the Nats don’t sell him on the cheap. I think his best is yet to come.

      • David Proctor - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:23 PM

        I think we need to keep the backend of our bullpen the way it is. Storen, Clippard and Soriano is a very strong back-end, even if it wasn’t always at times in 2013. The frontend of the bullpen is what could use some work.

    • Sonny G 10 - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Yes, a great read, David. Makes me hope we keep him.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      Mr. Procter: Thanks for sharing that; excellent analysis and great stats/graphs.

  9. Theophilus T.S. - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Does someone have the numbers on which Nats starters were most victimized by blown saves? Without checking I’m guessing the team no. of blown saves was around 24-25. Just wondering who got screwed the most.

  10. Eugene in Oregon - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    The Nats aren’t the only team with TV contract issues:

    http://blog.chron.com/sportsupdate/2013/11/astros-owner-sues-drayton-mclane-comcast-and-nbc-claiming-fraud/

    • Theophilus T.S. - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      Drayton has skated close on legal/ethical issues in a lot of his business activities. Sort of the Andros of wholesale distribution. Nothing should be a surprise.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:05 PM

        Agreed. But while I know the legal issues are significantly different — not to mention that they’d be suing a fellow owner rather than a former owner — I wish the Lerners would be as aggressive in pursuing the MASN mess.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        I referenced the Barron’s article on this debacle this morning. Here Crane is ticked about 46% of Houston’s TV market and he should walk in the Nats shoes where they have about 20% TV share.

        I’m hoping in some convoluted way this helps the Nats. Having no autonomy over your TV rights is a competitive disadvantage that no team should have to deal with.

  11. Theophilus T.S. - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    I’m pretty sure Adams is Cards’ 1B, unless he goes Ike Davis on them, or eats more than Fielder (or both), and Craig is their RF. Cards won’t sign Beltran’s two-year good health lotto ticket. If Tavarez turns out to be the CF there’s no room for both Jay and Bourjos and one of them will be traded in a deal for a SS.

  12. Joe Seamhead - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    As too the OT on Corey Brown,I remember him having a very impressive spring training camp in 2012 and when he got sent back down Davey gushed about him and said,”He’ll be back.” I’m pretty sure that there is something about Corey that we’re not aware of. He’s a plus outfielder, but he does tend to have a pretty high K rate. I’m pretty sure he kicked somebody’s dog.

  13. David Proctor - Nov 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Wilson Ramos is apparently playing in winter ball. I’m more than a little surprised that the Nationals are letting him play, given all of his health issues. Apparently they’ve only given him permission to DH, but still.

    • nats128 - Nov 22, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      Venezuelan pride. Im sure he sees it as a civic duty. Lets hope his hamstrings are healed.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      Mr. Procter: Is he actually playing right now? Sometimes an MLB player will be listed with his local team, but will only suit up and play toward the end of the season (at least that’s how it works in the DR).

  14. Joe Seamhead - Nov 23, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Thanks for that link, NatsLady.Very informative.

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