Swing Appetizer: Aaron Brown
In our second installment of Swing Appetizer, we take a look at 3rd round selection Aaron Brown. If you didn’t catch Friday’s installment, I suggest doing so as it delineates several important notes and caveats about the series. Brown’s portion of the video begins at the :50 second mark. Let’s begin.
The first thing I look at, swing-wise, is the feet. There are fine lines to walk here. Scouts like smooth, slow, quite feet but also like a strong, full stride that helps generate inertia toward the ball without it being so big of a stride that it negatively impacts the swing’s balance or creates issues with timing. It’s a fickle mistress. Aaron Brown’s footwork is inconsistent. At times the front foot comes down early and heavy and other times things look just fine. This could simply be a product of Brown’s two-way player pedigree. He’s likely to be a little more raw than most other college bats who have been hitting full time. It’s not perfect, but it’s not fatal either and should improve with reps.
Brown uses his hips well and adds pop to his swing as a result. The hands load at a good depth and height but have some superfluous movement after the front foot comes down, almost like Brown is cocking a shotgun. It can impact timing and, depending on where Brown’s hands are at in their piston-like continuum, can alter swing path.
Speaking of swing path, Brown’s is fine. The load height starts things at a good spot and the bat is in a solid hitting zone for a while. The bat speed and extension through the ball combined with the bat path give Brown what looks like more power than you’d expect from a guy most evaluators liked better as an arm coming out of Pepperdine. Also, Brown shows a decent idea of how to manipulate the head of the bat toward the ball and directing the ball to all fields. Overall, the looks at Brown’s BP swings are encouraging.
Of course, Brown primary issues (the unattractive and sometimes separatist stride and the extraneous hand movement) can both disrupt timing and have negative impact on subsequent parts of the swing. Land, flat-footed with that ugly stride too early and your lower half’s has already transferred a good bit of weight to the front side, sapping your power. Start to fire your hands forward when, due to their constant motion, they reside in a odd starting place, and you may end up with a wonky bat path that leads to poor contact or just be altogether late on a pitch. Combine the timing issues I think the feet may cause with the timing issues I think the hands might cause and these are flaws that may lead to some strikeouts
I remind you that these imperfections are only imperfect in a general sense. There are always things that work for some guys and don’t for others. Really, in person scouting of Brown and how these quirks might be impacting his timing is imperative to draw true conclusions.