St. Charles Parish continues to produce some of the best players in the state. Shining at the collegiate and sometimes professional levels, Hanhville and Destrehan remain hotbeds of great baseball athletes.
This year is no different.
For the second year in a row, Jordan Brown, a standout at Hahnville High School, is weighing his options after being drafted once more by a Major League Baseball squad.
Last year, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays drafted Brown in 31st round. This year Brown's stock improved enough for him to be selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 23rd round. While flattered by being chosen twice in the draft, Brown said scouts are encouraging him to return to college.
Currently, Brown is playing at Meridan Community College in Merdian, Miss.
This past year he played primarily third base and shortstop, and Brown also served as a pitcher in a small capacity. Although he pitched sparingly this past season, Brown is being sought after for his arm, as most scouts project him as a pitcher.
"Next year, all that I'm doing is pitching. Depending how good I perform, and depending on what round I get drafted in, will help me decide whether to go pro," said Brown. "If I have a good year, my odds are pretty good that Iíll improve in the draft."
Brown is a right-handed pitcher, who throws a fastball, curveball and changeup, adding that his fastball has been clocked around 91-93 miles per hour.
The fact that pros are looking at Brown as a prospect is the culmination of a lifelong dream. "After working hard for all of these years, when people and big colleges start talking to you, you begin to expect to be chosen," said Brown. "I'm just hoping that all of that hard work pays off in the end."
Brown said that level competition has increased greatly since his days at Hahnville, but he added that he enjoyed the challenge. "As you get further up, the competition gets a lot better," said Brown.
As for influences in becoming a potential big leaguer, Brown credits his parents. "They encouraged me to play as much ball as I can. I worked hard with my dad too growing up." Brown said that his older cousin who went on to play at Southern Miss also helped.
"Coach Sims helped a lot. He was drafted out of high school and played a few years in minor leagues. He taught so much about what that was like. He also coached and played the game similar to the way they play in minors. All of this helped so much," said Brown.
Brown played for Coach Mark Sims for his first three years, then was coached by Frank Cazeaux in his senior year at Hahnville.
During the whole process of playing in college and being courted by the pros, Brown said has its ups and downs. The ups, being a chance to make it eventually to the big leagues like so many youngsters dream, drawing that giant paycheck. The downs are the pressure of having to perform under the microscope of scouts.
"Youíve got your good days and bad days; that's baseball," said Brown, speaking very much like an adult that knows the rigors of big challenges. Although only 19 and born with great talent, he talks and acts like a well-schooled professional.
|Jordan Brown is patiently weighing his options of playing professional baseball.|