PBR Draft 100: An Inside Look at Nathan Brown



By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor – Wisconsin/Illinois

Recently our National Supervisor, Nathan Rode, released our PBR Draft 100. The PBR Draft 100 ranks the top high school prospects eligible for the 2016 MLB draft, including players outside of Prep Baseball Report’s coverage area of 27 states. This list is compiled after months of seeing games across the country and conversations with scouts and college recruiters.

These types of lists come out every year by multiple publications and you’ll see them more frequently the closer we get to June. But rarely is the state of Wisconsin represented as well as it is this year in terms of high school draft prospects. It’s rare to see even one high school prospect taken out of the Badger State, but our PBR Draft 100 includes three Wisconsin natives, all of which will get carefully scrutinized by MLB scouts and cross-checkers over the next six months leading up to the MLB Draft in June.

Rounding out the Wisconsin contingent in the PBR Draft 100 is the top ranked pitcher in the state, RHP Nathan Brown (Arrowhead HS). Brown was another high interest guy to the PBR staff at an early age. Catching our attention with his lean athletic frame and loose easy arm action, it was easy to see early on that Brown had a tremendously high ceiling.

Scouting Report from Southern Wisconsin Open (10/19/13) - Lanky frame, projectable build, 6-foot-2, 175-pound two-way player. On the mound shows high level projectability. Tall and fall delivery, regular effort, athletic delivery, good direction, stays online. Arm action is long and loose, free and easy arm, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball showed excellent run, slight sink, showed command of the zone, 82-83 mph. Slider showed short quick biting action, 70-73 mph, 10/4 plane, showed the ability to command it, advanced pitch. Changeup showed advanced action, plus potential pitch, advanced fading action to his arm side, showed excellent feel, 72-74 mph. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, 68-71 mph. 

Brown went fairly quiet under the radar for most of his sophomore season. At that time Arrowhead HS was still playing summer high school baseball and it was that spring that they announced the move to spring baseball for 2015. It wasn’t until the summer of 2014 when he really started to get noticed. Playing travel baseball with STiKS Academy, Brown then skyrocketed on the national scene at the PBR Future Games in August of 2014. Brown was one of the top risers from that event and where Florida got their first peek at the right-hander.

PBR Future Games Recap (8/8/14) - The long and loose 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-hander was one of the better-kept secrets in the Midwest. Not anymore. Brown established himself as one of the premier pitching prospects after his two one-inning stints. On Friday, Brown sat 88-89 with his usual sharp 74-77 mph slider. On Saturday, he came out hotter, sitting 89-90 (including four consecutive 90s). His also broke off a pair of 77 mph sliders that rendered the hitter helpless. Even without his velocity spike, Brown would’ve been a highly recruited prospect. He has a projectable, athletic frame, and has excellent overall athleticism for a pitcher. He also plays shortstop, and ran a 7.09 60 on Thursday.

Two months later, Wisconsin’s most coveted arm verbally committed to the Gators. The next step for Brown was proving he’s worthy of draft talk going into his senior year. Brown started that discussion right away in his draft year summer showing an electric arm, touching 91 mph, and wipe out slider at the PBR ProCase in June.

Brown continued his summer swing at several big events across the country and continued to show similar stuff every time out.

Scouting Report from Badger State Battle (7/12/15) - 2016 draft follow, committed to Florida. Wiry frame, lean and loose athlete, 6-foot-2, 185-pounds. Delivery shows some effort, head snap, heel to toe landing, works with tempo. Arm action is quick, and loose, high ¾ slot, athletic arm. Fastball topped at 91 mph in the first inning, sitting 89-90 mph, settled in at 86-88 for the game with arm side action. Showed feel of four pitches. Throws slider with conviction, 80-81 mph, lateral action. Curveball shows more depth, 74-77 mph, able to throw to both left and right handers. Changeup used primarily to lefties, showed feel and fade at 78 mph with fastball arm action.

Brown capped off his summer/fall run in Jupiter with another strong showing, really solidifying himself as a draft follow for pro scouts this spring. Just like Rortvedt and Lux, Brown will have his chance to pick up where he left off this fall and show scouts his arsenal at the PBR Super 60 Pro Showcase in February.

More News on Nathan Brown

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