An Exclusive with Top A’s Farmhand

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Paul M. Banks interviews Cougars slugger Corey Brown
“Downtown” Corey Brown is the Kane County Cougars leading home run hitter and a likely starter for the Midwest League All Star game.

Brown is currently second on the team in RBIs, hits, slugging percentage, and OPS. He homered in a Major League Spring training game earlier this year.

The Oakland Athletics prospect was selected as a compensation pick n the first round (59th overall) of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Oklahoma State University. In 2007, Brown finished second in the Northwest League in slugging percentage, fourth in home runs and fifth in RBIs. I caught up to him at a cold weather early season game this season and asked him if frigid games make it easier for the pitchers, and if warmer weather helps the hitters. I asked him if the commonly held belief is true.

“I guess you can kind of say that, but the weather hasn’t been too bad. Today was a little chilly. When it’s cold, the pitchers can go out there and be stiff. Cold weather is a disadvantage for both of us. Maybe the hitters a little more because you’re kinda ready to swing at the ball when it’s in; you get jammed it doesn’t do anything to your bat, but it doesn’t feel too good. I think for both of us it’s pretty hard to go out there and perform your best when you play in some of the weather we do out here in the Midwest League.”

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PMB: What’s different from your experience in Vancouver last season, when you were named a short season All-Star by “Baseball America”?

CB: I got too many strikeouts, that’s different. I’ve always struck out a lot, but I’m really struggling now. I got to keep working with our hitting coach. He’s going to keep helping me, and it’s a long season. Too many strikeouts, forget about today…take tomorrow like it’s a new one. I think we have a great team, great chemistry. I think we can play good together because everyone gets along. We’ve got a lot of good pitchers. Italiano and Dewing were able to do a no hitter which you rarely ever see. Pretty tough to do and they both went out there and did a great job.
 
PMB: What are your main individual goals for this season?

CB: I’ve got to cut out the strikeouts, at least cut ‘em in half because right now I’m struggling. I’ve always been someone to pretty much lead the team in Ks, and one of my goals is to maybe do a little better on that. I’ll work on that and eventually I’ll come around because I know I can do better. And there are other things to work on too, but that’s my main concern.

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