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Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 42: Devonte Brown

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Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
How did today’s prospect go undrafted?
This is Blue Jays Nation’s annual pre-season list, in which I’ll take a look at the top 50 prospects in the organization. We’ll look at the player’s stats, my observations, and other publications’ scouting reports if available.
Let’s take a look at Devonte Brown.

Getting to know Devonte Brown…

Position: Outfielder
Bats: Right
Born: October 15, 1999
Acquired: 2022 Undrafted Free Agent
2023 Team: Double-A New Hampshire
Previous Ranking: Unranked (#59, 2022 Mid-Season)
Every time I Tweet or write about Devonte Brown, I always ask the same question: “How did this guy go undrafted?”.
Take a guess which player with over 100 plate appearances during the 2022 season led the Blue Jays organization in wRC+. Obviously, it was Brown who slashed .308/.477/.449 with two homers in 107 plate appearances, along with a 22.4 BB% and a 19.6 K% for a 171 wRC+.
Brown was tested in the 2023 season, first making a stop with the High-A Vancouver Canadians. There, he had a .240/.357/.445 slash line with 14 homers in just 339 plate appearances for a 118 wRC+. His BB% remained high at 14.5%, but he had a noticeable tick up in his K%, as it jumped to 28.9%. He also picked up 18 steals on 19 attempts.
Still, the Blue Jays thought he was ready for Double-A New Hampshire, and of course, Brown was up to the task. In a small sample size of 74 plate appearances, Brown slashed .222/.338/.492 with four home runs. Once again, Brown had a high BB% of 14.9%, but his K% once again ticked up to 32.4%.
As it stands, Brown isn’t ranked on any other list, but is briefly mentioned in Fangraphs’ list, as they note he has a 50 power and 40 hit tool in the “Hitters to Monitor” section.
The immediate tool that sticks out for Brown is his power. His 18 homers were tied for fifth in the Blue Jays organization behind Will Robertson and tied with Cade Doughty. However, Brown showed speed in 2023, stealing 21 bases in 22 attempts. If you add his total bases stolen at North Carolina State, collegiate ball, and his first season in pro ball, he only had 22 stolen bases in five years worth of baseball. Moreover, Brown made this incredible catch in the 2021 College World Series.
The tool that could hold Brown back is his hit tool. Average wise, he’s likely not going to be that .308 hitter he was in Dunedin, but more around the .237 mark he was in 2023 with New Hampshire and Vancouver.  There’s also the swing and miss, which could drag down his game power tool in the upper-minors if it’s not corrected.
Either way, how did this guy go undrafted again?

In case you missed it…

Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown: The honourable mentions
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 50: Luis Torres
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 49: T.J. Brock
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 48: Will Robertson
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 47: Irv Carter
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown- No. 46: Trent Palmer
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 45: Fernando Pérez
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 44: Zach Britton
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 43: David Guzmán

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D. 

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