Most of us have yet to see Porter Brown play baseball.
The 5’11”, 190 freshman utility player made his debut with TCU Baseball over the weekend, in the stupidly non-televised MLB4 Tournament out in Arizona. And while only those that traveled to the desert got to see it in person, it was obvious to those following the statcast and twitter that the young man was lighting it up - against top flight opponents.
Now, I don’t want to put too much on a true freshman - after all, we are just three games into what will hopefully be a long career - but it’s hard not to get excited about what Brown brings to the lineup. From a speed perspective, he’s the fastest Frog we have seen since Cody Jones, who had a career best 33 stolen bases in 2015. Brown could not only challenge that mark, but also Darren Thorpe’s single-season record of 44 (1989) before his career is over, if he continues to get on base with regularity.
Again, it’s early, we are projecting a lot here... but, man, this kid is FUN.
Brown did a little bit of everything over the weekend, and he did it against top-flight competition. He started slow Friday night, as did the entire TCU lineup, but stole after his first career hit, ending his debut 1-4 with three strikeouts. He was much better in game two, filling a true lead-off role: four hits in five at bats with a double, two runs batted in, three runs scored, and two stolen bases in two attempts. Sunday’s finale brought more excitement - two more hits, two more runs scored, two walks drawn. An infield single here, and extra base there... Porter Brown was everywhere. He even reached base thanks to an error that seemed to be a product of a defender thinking about trying to throw him out.
In all, Brown opened his TCU Baseball career batting .583 across a trio of games against a trio of opponents that could be Omaha-bound come June. For the effort, he earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors:
Congrats to Porter Brown on earning @Big12Conference Newcomer of the Week honors! The freshman ranks second in the league with a .583 (7-for-12) average. He has reached base in 9 out of his last 11 plate appearances. #GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/ffu1ArXcSf— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) February 18, 2019
Porter Brown wasn’t a name many knew coming into the season - the 247th ranked player in the country was a top rated outfielder in Texas, but went un-drafted on his way to TCU. The natural lefty was trouble on the base paths as a high schooler, of course, setting a school record with 26 stolen bases in 26 attempts as a senior. He had those opportunities because he excelled at getting on base - batting .367 as a junior and over .400 as a senior. He’s not necessarily the guy TCU fans were expecting to light up the dormant offense of 2018, but he’s done exactly that, serving as a DH and a lead-off man for a TCU lineup that exploded for 19 runs across two games after getting blanked in the opener.
Brown was responsible for seven of them in one form or another.
Again... it’s early. I don’t want to put too much pressure on an 18 year old kid.
But... man, he is fun to watch.
You can get your first live look at Porter Brown and the rest of TCU Baseball Wednesday night at 6:30pm, when the Frogs face off with ACU at Lupton Stadium.