Here’s why Jake Brown, a freshman at LSU, did not anticipate becoming an outfield option.

Here’s why Jake Brown, a freshman at LSU, did not anticipate becoming an outfield option.

When Jake Brown came to LSU, he didn’t anticipate being a hitter first.

He added that during last summer’s draft, MLB organisations saw him more as a left-handed pitcher than a left-handed hitter.

However, LSU coach Jay Johnson has always liked what Brown is capable of doing with a bat in his hands.

“He’s got great hand-eye, and he’s got great bat speed because he’s so explosive, such an explosive athlete,” Johnson stated on Friday.

“And when you have that combination,

you can afford to make late decisions and you make smart ones early because you’re scooping up the ball.

That’s the reason Tommy White is so unique.

That is what was so unique about Dylan (Crews). And I believe he possesses some of that.

Brown is a strong contender to start in left or right field when LSU kicks off its season against VMI at Alex Box Stadium on Friday because to these qualities and more.

Senior designated hitter/catcher Hayden Travinski said that Brown is “very mature in the way he handles himself.”

“Much like most of me and (Alex Milazzo’s) class when we got here,

I think he handles himself very well and just goes about things the right way.”

Johnson is pleased with Brown’s performance at the plate despite the fact that he hasn’t been flawless since the autumn.

Here's why Jake Brown, a freshman at LSU, did not anticipate becoming an outfield option.
At Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Alex Box Stadium, during the first inning of an exhibition game, LSU outfielder Jake Brown (18) completes a swing against Louisiana.

Given that Brown has more than held his own against LSU’s plethora of left-handed pitchers,

Johnson feels comfortable starting him against them in games.

Johnson points out that Brown’s quickness has given him more time to decide how to swing when breaking balls swoop away from him,

which is a popular strategy used by lefty pitchers against lefty batters.

Additionally, he enjoys Brown’s ability to hit fastballs “to all parts of the field.”

“I don’t think of it as left-handed or right-handed pitching;

I try to think of it as me finding my pitch to hit, and I don’t think which arm it’s coming from matters,”

Brown stated on Friday.

Brown is not a completed item.

Brown’s overall strength and pitch selection at the plate are still developing, even though he did hit a 390-foot home run during Monday’s scrimmage.

Johnson is still learning out how to properly coach him.

“I didn’t think he was able to run that fast, jump that high,” Travinski stated.

“Kind of caught me off guard because I had heard more about him as a pitcher than as a hitter.”

The timing of Brown’s elevation is ideal for LSU. The only returning regulars for the Tigers who hit from the left side of the plate are sophomore catcher Brady Neal and junior second baseman Josh Pearson.

This means the team needs more left-handed hitters.

With second baseman Ben Nippolt, redshirt freshman outfielder Zeb Ruddell, and freshman outfielder Ashton Larson, LSU has some left-handed alternatives off the bench.

However, the Tigers’ pitching staff still leans more left-handed than their hitting staff.

Brown continues to play catch, pitch, and throw bullpens in a way that prepares him to throw in a game if necessary.

It’s a lot to handle, particularly for a first-year student.

Brown, meanwhile, who is the son of two collegiate athletes, is adamant that he is prepared for the task.

Brown declared, “I see myself as a competitor.”

“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get on the pitch, whether it’s on the offensive or defensive side of the ball.

“Whatever helps our team win.”

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