Dasan Brown developed a strong interest for baseball when he was about 10 years old. The Ontario native participated in MLB’s Pitch, Hit and Run competition with his local team.
He advanced deep in the tournament and received an invitation to the All-Star Game in Kansas City in 2012. The experience allowed him to interact with numerous major league players including Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen.
“That’s really what started my passion for baseball,” he said.
Since that experience nearly seven years ago, Brown has developed into one of the top prep players in North America. He’s the top Canadian prospect and a potential top-five round pick in June’s MLB draft.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound outfielder also is a Texas A&M commit. This summer, he will have to decide between embarking on a professional career or attending college.
Brown knows it will be a difficult decision to make. He says he feels pressure to make the right choice and will lean on his parents for advice and support. He’s trying to avoid the draft attention and concentrate on finishing his final prep season off on a positive note.
“It’s really about focusing on the game and playing baseball,” Brown said. “Everything that will happen, will happen. I can’t really control what happens, but I can control my preparation to handle these situations.”
Brown is a dynamic athlete with elite speed. He might be the fastest runner in this year’s draft class, and that speed plays well in all facets of the game.
His speed allows him to create havoc on the bases and cover large amounts of ground in center field. He also possesses a respectable throwing arm that allows him to play solid defense.
“As a little kid, my parents said they’d have trouble keeping me still,” Brown said. “It’s who I am. Running is part of me.”
Although his speed is his best tool, Brown said he’s trying to refine his base running skills.
“I’m trying to be one of the base runners in the draft class,” Brown said. “It’s really been working on leadoffs and reaching pitchers to incorporate it into my game.”
Brown’s ability at the plate is a work in progress. He’s more of a gap-to-gap hitter, possessing below-average raw power.
He played with the Canadian Junior National team in Florida from March 12 to March 24 and competed against professional minor league teams. It allowed him to experience premium velocity and put-away breaking pitches.
He saw what he could face if he turns pro this summer, which caused him to make adjustments to his hitting philosophy, he said. Learning how to hit pitchers throwing in the mid-to-high-90s and grasping the idea of reading the pitch out of the pitcher’s hand are two “tweaks” he wants to work on, he added.
“I am taking steps in the right direction,” Brown said. “All I can keep doing is putting the work in and eventually it will get to where I believe it can get to. As of now, I feel like I am a good hitter. I’m not overmatched in any of these situations. I am just trying to take the next step.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for four years. He’s interviewed 133 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.