With Stephen Piscotty landing on the injured list due to a sprained ankle, 27-year-old outfielder Seth Brown earned his first call-up to the big leagues Monday as the A’s arrived in Kansas City for a 4-game series against the Royals. Penciled into the lineup for all four games, Brown made big contributions both offensively and defensively to help Oakland to a series win.
Brown, who was brought up to the majors after crushing Triple-A pitching this season, began his big league career Monday evening with a base hit in each of his first two plate appearances. The second one, which came an inning after his first, drove in Matt Olson for Brown’s first RBI in the majors, and helped Oakland to a 19-4 rout of the Royals.
Brown didn’t have as much success at the plate in game two, going 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts on a night where the A’s notched just five hits. However, with stellar pitching and some impressive defense from their rookie left fielder, they were still able to pull out a 2-1 victory in Kansas City. First, with Mike Fiers on the mound and one out in the bottom of the second, Brown laid out for a diving grab to prevent Cheslor Cuthbert from extra bases. Then, just an inning later Brown showed off his arm by throwing out Meibrys Viloria at the plate to protect Oakland’s 2-0 lead.
Brown got back into the hit column Wednesday night with a double in four at-bats, while also picking up RBI No. two on a fielder’s choice as the A’s fell to the Royals, 6-4 in game three of the set. However, they bounced back the next day with a 9-8 win to take the series, led by a big afternoon at the plate from Seth Brown. Collecting four hits, scoring three runs and driving in two, Brown led his club to victory with a rare four-hit performance in only his fourth big league game.
Despite being left out of the starting lineup the next night for the series opener in the Bronx, Brown was Oakland’s biggest offensive contributor for the second game in a row. After pinch-hitting for Chad Pinder in the 6th inning, Brown went 3-3 with three RBI to lead the A’s to an 8-2 win over the Yankees. With already three multi-hit games in his first five games in the majors, the Oakland rookie is now hitting .455 with 7 RBI.
While five games is certainly a small sample size, there’s reason for fans to get excited about Brown. The Oakland prospect has been solid at the plate over the last three years in the minors, specifically this season, after being drafted by the Athletics in the 19th round of the 2015 Draft. Across 112 games at Triple-A Las Vegas this year, Brown has hit .317 with 37 HR, 104 RBI, .393 wOBA, .337 ISO and .634 SLG. Despite having some struggles with strikeouts (25.4%) and the ability to draw walks (7.6%), Brown’s bat has kept him on base, with many of his hits leaving the yard for homers.
Brown’s power has been off-and-on throughout his minor league career, hitting just 14 HR over 131 games last season after a mark of 30 in 2017, and only 8 over 127 games in ’16. While this certainly makes it questionable whether or not his power will translate to the majors, Brown’s numbers from this season are definitely promising.
The arrival of September means some new faces get brought up to the big leagues, which we’ll begin to see in the coming days. We’ve already seen it in Oakland with Seth Brown, who’s quickly made a positive impact to his club in his first few games. Brown will look to lock down as much playing time as he can in a crowded A’s outfield that will soon see the returns of Ramon Laureano and Stephen Piscotty from the injured list.
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