Sunday, February 27, 2011

Getting To Know Corey Brown

Traded to Our Washington Nationals on December 16th, 2010 along with flame throwing hurler Henry Rodriguez for Josh Willingham, Corey Brown brings power, speed, defense and an arm capable of playing centerfield to Washington's group of prospects. Picked in the first round, 59th Overall, of the 2007 Draft by The Oakland Athletics, Corey has the ability to hit to all fields, but his high rate of strikeouts is still a concern.

Nats320 met up with Corey Brown after Spring Practice in Viera, Florida to find out a little more about him. Getting To Know Corey Brown--a very quiet and reserved young man.

Nats320: Were you surprised to be traded to Washington?

Brown: Yeah, in a way I kind of was. In the A’s Organization—it’s a great organization—but they are stocked with prospects. So over there in Oakland, it was sort of tough to get to the big leagues as soon as you wanted to. And not that I deserved to get there any faster or quicker than anyone else—because I’ve had my struggles—but when I found out I got traded, I was really excited. I got the call from Dave Forst, the Assistant GM, over there letting me know the news. I told him: ‘Thank you for everything.” But I am excited to be here. So far it’s been fun. Everyone here seems to be really nice people. They’ve greeted me with open arms and I'm just looking forward to this year. And hopefully, good things can happen.

Nats320: You feel you might have been blocked in Oakland in making the majors?

Brown: I wouldn’t say I was blocked, but they had so many prospects over there that it made it difficult for me, prospect wise. With the A’s there were several people in front of me. In fact I should say a lot more people in front of me because here (in Washington) there are several people now in front of me. But I feel with the Nationals there is a much better opportunity. I feel that here I can get to there (the big leagues) faster.

Nats320: You had good numbers last year at AA ball (Midland), not as good at AAA (Sacramento). What happened last season at AAA?

Brown: I started the year off in AAA and that was the first month. Unfortunately, I was in one of those funks that was hard to get out of and I only blame myself for that. Everyone goes through a little bump in the road. Mine just happened to carryover into the whole first month I was there. I then went down to AA and I didn’t hold anything against anyone. It was my fault to get sent down. So I went out there to perform again and work my way back up to AAA. When I got called back up there (late in the season--final seven games), I was able to start over. I finished great, real strong, and I felt I could handle the pitching there (AAA) a little better. AAA is a little more advanced than AA. In AAA they attack your weaknesses a little more. You have to be prepared when you face all these really good pitchers and when I got called back up to Sacramento I had more confidence in myself to perform well. Confidence was the difference.

Nats320: GM Mike Rizzo would not have traded for you unless he saw talent in your skills. What do you feel you bring to this organization?

Brown: From what I hear—I am a toolsy guy. I think that helps me. I can play good defense. I have a little speed and some pop in my bat. That’s really helped me throughout my development. I am not just a one-dimensional guy. But it’s always about staying healthy—which has always been the question about myself throughout my career. The little injuries that I have had here and there. I’ve felt that over the years I have been able to take better care of myself and done a better job where before I didn’t know too much (about training properly). I used to go day-to-day and hoped that something wouldn't pop-up. Now, I am in the training room every day preventing things from happening—the precautionary reasons.

Nats320: Do you have a skill that is more developed than another at this point?

Brown: I can’t really say. At times I’ve had seasons where I’ve hit a lot of home runs. Then I would say it’s power and then you could say it’s the California League. But I don’t try to concentrate on just one thing. Others might say my speed is my best tool, or my defense. I don’t answer those questions, I let everybody else make those judgements.

Nats320: Is it strange coming to a new team, with a bunch of new faces, for the first time?

Brown: It’s tough because I’ve only played with a few guys here and that was in the Arizona Fall League. I know Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen and Espy (Danny Espinosa). There are some familiar faces but it’s definitely tough the first week to learn all the new faces because I am not the most outgoing person (chuckling). I stay back and let everyone come to me.

Nats320: But they’ve made you feel welcome?

Brown: Oh yeah. It’s a great organization and everyone has treated me great. So far I’ve been having a great time. Now I just need to go out, be confident, and show them what I can do.

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