The St. Louis Cardinals have added some organizational depth in the outfield as the team claimed Gary Brown off waivers from the San Francisco Giants today.

Brown was selected by San Francisco with their 2010 first round draft pick (24th overall) out of Cal State Fullerton. He made his ML debut with the team last September, batting .429 (3-7) with an RBI.

According to Andrew Baggarly, who covers the Giants for the San Jose Mercury News, Brown “hit a big bump in his development at Double-A, where his unorthodox swing mechanics – he pinned his hands to his chest – left him vulnerable to inside pitches. I did notice that Brown made some rather significant mechanical adjustments this spring, but he hit .154 and some of his situational at-bats were just not good. For a player who was forecasted as a leadoff hitter, Brown never showed much proficiency for moving runners, walking enough to boost his on-base percentage, playing the little game or being an efficient base stealer.

Clubs usually give their top picks a chance at the big league level before giving up on them. Brown only had seven at-bats as a September call-up last year. But no matter what level he was at or what uniform he was wearing, I think he popped up with runners on base too many times for the team’s liking.”

Capable of playing all three fields, Brown has patrolled center in 519 games which figures to be key for Memphis (AAA), with Randal Grichuk on the big league roster and Tommy Pham still dealing with a quad strain.

Combined over five minor league seasons, Brown has hit .277 with 44 HRs and 227 RBIs in 550 games. He has also stolen over 30 bases three times in a season–including 53 in 2011 for San Jose (High A).

photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA Today Sports


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