Garrett Brown – Pic via University of Georgia Baseball
When the Cubs selected pitcher Garrett Brown from the University of Georgia in the 18th round of the 2022 draft, I thought it was pretty cool that the Cubs took two guys from the same bullpen. Little did I know that Brown was not on reliever at first. It only took a few minutes to find that he had been a starter his entire career at the University of Georgia. Usually, the Cubs don’t take starters in the back end of the draft. Hence, the surprise.
Height – 6-foot-7
Weight – 218
Throws – Right
From – Manchester, Georgia
Age – 22
18th Round Pick, 2022 MLB Draft
The best way I could describe Brown’s career at the University of Georgia would be to say spotty.
He redshirted his freshman year in 2019 and then appeared in just four games in 2020. He would undergo elbow surgery and miss all of 2021 while recovering. He came back this spring and made several starts for Georgia with an ERA over seven. It is not been an easy recovery. That explains why the Cubs took him in the 18th round.
Once you start getting past the stats and looking at the totality of his career and how his performance changed from outing to outing this spring, you can start to see why the Cubs would take Brown where they did.
Brown is said to have a plus slider which may be the pitch that got him selected.
In 2020, he made a whopping four starts with an ERA of 4.96. He pitched a total of 16.1 innings and struck out 13 batters. When he returned in 2022, he didn’t pitch that much more in terms of innings. He appeared and 12 games started 10 of them and posted an ERA of 7.71. He threw 24.1 innings and walked 25 guys. But things got better each outing coming back from Tommy John surgery.
After the spring season was over, Brown reinvented himself playing summer league ball where he tossed four innings and did not allow a run. He only struck out two, but he was still being used in short stints. That might be the best thing to do to build up that arm in the long run. Starting might not be in the plan for a couple of years.
Even though he does have a large frame, I am not really expecting him to be in the rotation next year at Myrtle Beach. He did not pitch after signing and that’s not surprising in the slightest considering he missed all of 2021 and had not pitched since 2020.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of role the Cubs have him take. The fact that he’s only thrown about 30 innings this year means he’s not going to throw a lot next year. He technically could start and build up his arm strength like Kohl Franklin did this year where he would throw just two innings a start that first month. Then he could slowly build up to three, four, and five and get somewhere close to 80 innings by the end of the year.
If I was a betting man, I’d go with a plan where he threw about three innings a week in relief. One night he could throw one inning and the other night he would throw two innings. The Cubs could have them throw on Thursdays and Sundays so he’d have a definite day off to rest the arm. That would get him to around 75 innings if his performance was good enough to stay in for two innings.
Because of the log jam of pitchers of the system, Brown will probably be at Myrtle Beach to start the year.