Is Andrew Brown a viable right fielder?

Andrew BrownThe question above is pretty straight forward, but there are other factors which will either hinder or help Andrew Brown’s case to become a part of the Mets’ right field solution. For starters, the Mets signed Chris Young this off-season with the expressed commitment that he will have substantial playing time. What exactly that playing time means, and how long of a leash Young will have should he stumble out of the gate, are plans only Sandy Alderson and his trusted circle know. Then there is the up-and-coming Matt den Dekker who could either force Juan Lagares into right field or go there himself. There are a myriad of other possibilities that could have Brown seeing some time in right for the Mets in 2014. But does that make him a viable option?

In 2013, Brown had 165 plate appearances and hit .227/.288/.400 with 7 home runs, 24 RBI, 13 walks and 44 strikeouts. Those aren’t exceptional numbers. August was by far his best month, as he went .357/.386/.571 with 2 home runs and 11 RBI in 44 plate appearances. Those are more in line with what Brown was used to putting up in Triple-A the past three years. In 248 Triple-A games since 2011 between Memphis, Colorado Springs, and Las Vegas, Brown had a collective .313/.393/.586, with 51 home runs, 212 RBI, and 60 doubles. No one is suggesting that Brown is going to put up All-Star numbers, but the drop-off from Triple-A to the majors is so drastic, that there has to be something in play. If regular playing time is the organization’s cure for Young, why wouldn’t that same cure work for Brown? Unfortunately, there’s only so much cure to go around.

Brown has never proven himself at the major league level, and that is the major difference between he and Young. The latter is only two years removed from 89 runs, 20 home runs, 22 stolen bases, and 71 RBI. He can do it, the only question is if can he do it again. Meanwhile Brown is still struggling to find a permanent role on this team, and has the likes of Lagares and den Dekker breathing down his neck. That might work to the Mets advantage. Jeremy Hefner, fearing a demoting to Triple-A, pitched some of the best baseball in the majors last year. If Brown finds an opportunity in 2014 and can run with it, he can force himself into the lineup on a more regular basis.

Right field is very similar to first base for the Mets; too many options and none of them good enough at the present moment. The theory goes that if multiple guys are in the hunt for one position, the best player will win the job. But how long can the Mets try and find players through this process? If there is no solution at first or right for the Mets in June or July, are they going to give up young arms to acquire stars at those positions? My guess is no, but this game of Who’s Playing Today can’t go on forever.

We can only judge Brown by what we saw from him last year. He had great moments, surrounded by more-prolonged inadequacy. Unfortunately Brown signifies a bigger dilemma for the Mets. He’s a Quadriple-A player on a team filled with Quadruple-A talent. Brown has the ability to succeed, but there is no foreseeable way he’s going to play 100 games in 2014. If fact, the more Brown plays in 2014, the worse the Mets’ record will probably be at that point. So is Brown a viable option? Yes and no. Yes, he can play the position well enough and if he were given a full season to display his talent, his stats suggest he can put up at least league-average numbers, if not better. No, because he’ll never get the time needed there, and that’s the overall problem. “There’s too many men, too many people, making too many problems.”

13 comments for “Is Andrew Brown a viable right fielder?

  1. January 7, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Curtis Granderson [L] (Starts 100% of the time, when healthy.)
    Chris Young [R] (Plays 90% of the time, when healthy. This changes after 1+ months of struggling performance.)
    Juan Lagares [R] (Plays against all lefties and some righties until his bat proves infective.)
    Matt Den Dekker [L] (Plays in 30-40% of games starting in place of Young or Lagares.)
    Andrew Brown [R] (AAA, first call-up for short-term injury.)
    Cesar Puello [R] (AAA, first call-up for long-term injury.)

    • Metsense
      January 7, 2014 at 11:13 am

      I see EY Jr taking den Decker’s spot in the above scenario with den Decker being the “any” injury call up. The way the team is presently constructed, I see the 5th outfielder spot on the roster going to the loser of the first base competition (Davis). The fifth outfielder would not need to play the outfield with his primary function being a lefty power bat off the bench and DH. If an outfielder is necessary, Davis goes to first and Duda with a batting helmet plays the outfield.
      Andrew Brown, even with 600 PA’s does not project as an average right fielder. The 2013 NL RF Avg: 23 HR 334/443/777. On the depth chart I would place him behind den Decker and Puello. The fact that he is 29 and bats right handed will only make it more difficult to make the roster.

      • January 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm

        EY Jr I have as the Util man on bench. I see him running for Davis/Duda/Satin and then being replaced after the half inning a lot.

      • Chris F
        January 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

        I didnt know we had a problem at RF. Of all the position player issues we have, RF is not one of them, nor is the OF in general. Andrew Brown? Like you said Metsense, he’s 29 and bats right, and has no chance to play in Flushing on any more than an emergency situation.

        Granderson, Lagares, or Young is not good enough to play right? The point of this article escapes me.

  2. TexasGusCC
    January 7, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I couldn’t understand the Young signing. Pretty good player, but why not give that time to den Dekker/Brown platoon? See what these guys offer? But, it’s done.

    • ReneNYM1
      January 7, 2014 at 10:52 am

      We need a leadoff hitter.

      • Metsense
        January 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

        Chris Young has a career .315 OBP with a 75% (18/24) stolen base rate. He is not an ideal lead off man.

  3. January 7, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Is Brown as good as Young is with the glove? Even if both struggle at the plate, at least New York can have a stellar outfield defense.

    • Metsense
      January 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

      If you see Chris Young struggle then the Mets will start Eric Young in the OF before Andrew Brown. Brown will probably not even make the roster.

  4. January 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Is Brown as good as Young with the glove? Even if both struggle at the plate, at least New York can have a stellar outfield defense.

    • January 7, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Sorry about the double post. Website was very slow and I clicked post again. Lesson learned.

  5. Sean Flattery
    January 7, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I don’t think he’s guaranteed a roster spot. If he does make the 25 man out of spring training, I don’t see him getting 100 ABs by the All-Star Break.

  6. January 7, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    SA did not sign Young to a 7.5 million dollar contract to ride the bench(even if he’s in an early season slump). I think Brown is pretty far down the pecking order for being called up.

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