Rochester pitcher taken in second round

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 5, 2012 - 6:34 PM

Century's Mitch Brown was picked 79th overall by the Indians.

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Mitch Brown of Rochester Century, whose fastball can consistently hit the mid-90s, was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the second round of Major League Baseball's first-year player draft, the No. 79 selection overall.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune file

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It wasn't announced from a podium or broadcast on national television, but Mitch Brown finally had his name called in the 2012 Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

The Rochester Century High School pitcher was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the second round Tuesday afternoon. Brown's celebration was delayed overnight after the righthander was left on the board through Monday's first round.

Projected as a possible first-round or compensation-round selection (1-60), Brown was eventually selected 79th overall. He was not immediately available for comment.

Eager to continue his baseball career in college or the pros, the pitcher said he would make a swift decision.

"I'll try and make my decision fairly quickly and get on track to the major leagues," Brown said last week.

With Brown falling to the second round, Minnesota has yet to produce a high school pitcher selected in the first round. Prior to Brown, three prep hurlers were selected in the second round, most recently Brad Hand (2008, No. 52 overall) of Chaska High School. Twins catcher Joe Mauer was the last local high school player selected in the first round while at Cretin-Derham Hall (2001, No. 1 overall).

Should Brown pass on the Indians' contract offer, a full scholarship to the University of San Diego awaits. The West Coast Conference member was one of the earliest believers in him and offered the pitcher a scholarship long before he was regarded as one of the nation's top prospects.

As Brown's stock increased, so did USD's offer. In attempt to keep him out of professional baseball, room and board were added to the package and Toreros coach Rich Hill visited Rochester two weeks ago to remind Brown of his value to the program.

The 3.3 grade-point average student said it would require "something special" to keep him away from the Southern California sun.

Brown also has committed to play collegiate summer ball with the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League.

The 44th-rated prospect by Baseball America was named the Minnesota Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year. In 54 innings, he stuck out 108 batters to finish with a 7-1 regular season record and a 0.91 ERA. In the Class 3A, Section 1 playoffs, he was 1-1 with 26 strikeouts.

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