Gary Brown was born in Diamond Bar, a southern California town in San Bernardino County. Gary was a standout for Diamond Bar High School, earning second-team All-American honors in 2007. Drafted by the Oakland Athletics out of high school in the twelfth round, the outfielder decided instead to go to college and play for Cal State Fullerton.
Brown played three seasons as a Titan, each one better than the last. As a freshman in 2008, Brown hit .292 (57-for-195) with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs and 27 RBI. He also swiped 25 bases in 28 attempts. The solid all-around season earned Brown second-team College Freshman All-American honors.
In his sophomore season, Brown hit .340 (88-for-259) with 17 doubles, seven triples, three homers and 40 RBI. The speedy outfielder again showed his speed and skill as a base stealer, swiping 23 bags.
Brown's junior season in 2010 was by far his best. The then 21-year-old hit a whopping .438 (92-for-210) with 20 doubles, eight triples, six long balls and 41 RBI. Stealing 32 bases, Brown became the first Titan since 1994 to swipe more than 30 bags in a season. Brown earned second-team College All-American honors, was a Big West Conference All-Star, and was also named Big West Conference Player of the Year.
Gary goes pro
Following his outstanding junior year, Brown was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2010 draft, going 24th overall. Gary saw very limited professional action that year, playing in only 12 games between the Arizona Rookie League and low-A Salem-Keizer.
In 2011, recognizing the talent of the young outfielder, the Giants sent Brown straight to high-A San Jose. It would prove to be a good decision. The 6-foot-1 190-pound Brown torched the California League. In his first professional season, Brown posted a slash line of .336/.407/.519 with 34 doubles, 13 triples, 14 home runs, 80 RBI and 53 stolen bases. Brown's 188 hits were a California League record.
Raking in the accolades
Brown's accolades for his electrifying 2011 campaign were numerous. He was a two-time CAL Player of the Week, a CAL Mid-Season All-Star, and a member of the prestigious All-Star Futures Game. Brown was also a CAL Postseason All-Star, CAL Rookie of the Year, a Baseball America High Class A All-Star and a Baseball America Minor League All-Star.
To top it all off, MiLB named Brown the high-A Hitter of the Year.
Struggles in Arizona
The most recent honor for Gary was being selected for the Arizona Fall League, the prestigious offseason league that features some of the game's most talented young players. Unfortunately, Gary did not perform well offensively for the Scorpions, hitting only .220 with just three extra base hits in 11 games. The outfielder's K/BB ratio of 10/1 was also alarming. The lackluster performance in Arizona was attributed to a case of the flu -- and the wear-and-tear of a long 2011.
What does the future hold?
Brown has quickly elevated himself to the number one prospect in the Giants organization. He plays phenomenal defense in center field, has a plus arm and many of his skills translate at any level of baseball. We expect to see Gary begin 2012 with double-A Richmond in the Eastern League -- a league known for being a great testing ground for young hitters. If the exciting 23-year-old continues to have success, he could make an appearance in the big leagues at some point in 2012. Barring setbacks, he figures to be roaming the vast expanses of AT&T Park's center field by the 2013 season.
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