Saturday, January 25, 2014
A's land Dusty Brown
Move over Dusty Robinson, this Dusty is taking the reins as the one to beat. Recently inked away from MiLB free agency, Oakland has landed their first free agent backstop of the offseason. Brown, a journeyman and 35th round selection from 2000's Draft by Boston out of Yavapai JC, became a premier prospect for the Sox while still housed within the short season ranks and sluggishly ascended to AA/AAA seven years later, earning an AZFL berth in the process. Since then, Brown has meandered through the minors with minimal MLB stints with Boston and then Pittsburgh following a free agent acquisition in 2011 and then a corresponding pickup by Texas in 2012. Another attempt to latch onto a suitor failed for Brown during the 2013 campaign, but luckily was plucked by the Athletics to reestablish himself in the realm of baseball for 2014.
The previous couple season have presented meager plate appearance totals for the hefty 6'0", 180 backstop, as he accumulated 239 PAs between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in 2011 with a 30 PA duration with the Pirates in which he amassing a god awful -0.4 fWAR (3-28, 1 BB, 10 K), while contrasting that with a far more respectable .285/.367/.506 slash in his remaining 199 International League appearances at the plate. During his encore and most recent audition with Texas, he went .220/.354/.397 in 175 PAs with a 17.1% BB% with Round Rock as their secondary catching weapon. Brown has a career MLB résumé of 7-43 with 2 BB/12 K and a lone HR in 25 contests, equating to a .163/.200/.256 line.
Dusty figures to commence in Sacramento and be a non-roster invitee come February. Alongside fellow backstops Chris Gimenez, Stephen Vogt and Luke Montz, there seems to be a catching clog at AAA for the moment within the A's organization. They could just simply ship the 31 year old to Midland, but if not then Montz would likely have to become a primary first baseman and the conundrum would then rather revolve amongst Aliotti/Taylor. There are numerous other transactions left to be made however, so this shall inevitably be resolved prior to April.
While he possesses power attributes, Brown is rather a defensively intensive catching asset, specializing in orchestrating games and featuring with a laser arm and noticeable plate blocking instincts. He'll likely serve as Vogt's backup for the Rivercats.