Canuck prospect Dasan Brown ready for what’s to come after MLB draft

Ontario Blue Jays and Junior National Team outfielder Dasan Brown (Oakville, Ont.) is the No. 1 prospect on the Canadian Baseball Network’s 2019 Draft List heading into this year’s draft which will begin on Monday. Photo: Baseball Canada

Ontario Blue Jays and Junior National Team outfielder Dasan Brown (Oakville, Ont.) is the No. 1 prospect on the Canadian Baseball Network’s 2019 Draft List heading into this year’s draft which will begin on Monday. Photo: Baseball Canada

May 31, 2019

By Cam Black-Araujo

Canadian Baseball Network

It’s been a cold, damp spring in Ontario which has left players across the country scrambling to get on the field with most teams only playing half their games and practices in the month of May at best.

For Dasan Brown, Canada’s top prospect heading into Monday’s MLB draft, his talents have allowed him to avoid the hardships of playing ball in the North during frigid temperatures when he took part in two spring training trips with the Canadian National Junior Team during March and April.

And despite winter being long gone, he was again able to wiggle his way out of the rainy May weather for another trip with Team Canada, this time in the Dominican Republic. All these trips are eye opening experiences for some, and others a view into their future as they compete against some MLB teams’ top prospects.

Not only did Brown get a glimpse of the life he may soon be living, he also got the chance to prove to pro scouts he can compete in that environment.

“It’s helped me a tremendous amount,” says the 17-year-old centre fielder from Oakville, Ont. “Being able to go out every day and play pro athletes, it helps you not only physically in terms of what you have to do to get to the next level but the mental side of it too. You’re going up against guys that are a couple of years older than you and that really helps on the development side.”

Brown’s two trips to Florida this spring were very important in regard to his draft stock as that’s where most major league clubs had eyes on him, even having multiple scouts/executives from a single team.

Of course, he’s been scouted for years as the Ontario Blue Jays product has been committed to Texas A&M Aggies since August 2018, but this time was different for the speedy right-handed hitter. It was one of the final times clubs would see him prior to the draft that has him ranked 103rd by MLB.com and 98th by FanGraphs.

Brown is known for his speed and athleticism, allowing him to track down just about anything while patrolling centre. MLB.com’s report reiterates that, also mentioning in a separate article that he’s “in the running” as one of the fastest runner’s in the entire draft.

“The Texas A&M commit has close to top-of-the-scale speed, which makes him a threat on the basepaths and helps him cover a ton of ground in centre field, where he should be a plus defender down the road,” wrote Jim Callis of MLB.com.

A threat on the bases indeed. Brown swiped five bases during Team Canada’s Dominican Summer League tour when they played prospects from various MLB teams including the Blue Jays. The team finished with a winning record of 6-5-2 and Brown chipped in throughout the week on the bases and with the bat, collecting nine hits, two doubles and a triple while adding eight walks.

He returned from the Dominican on May 26 and his focus quickly shifted to the draft with just eight days until the first night of the selection process.

It’s a big stepping stone in life for a 17-year-old who will be graduating in June and the emotions are just as you would expect for a teenager with 30 major league clubs in front him trying to snatch his rights.

“I’m excited and a little nervous at the same time. I kind of just want to see how all these meetings and all these interactions over the past few months end up going and how it will play out but at the same time I’m very excited for Monday,” added Brown.

The draft will be a new experience for Brown, but he has surrounded himself with teams and coaches who find themselves in this position regularly. The Ontario Blue Jays have had multiple players drafted each year since 1996 including three first-rounders while the Junior National Team has seen a player go in the first two rounds each of the past four drafts.

While these two programs played a big part in his development there are others he’ll be thinking of when his name is called.

“I’ll definitely be thinking of my parents because they were the ones that helped me through this entire process, they’ve been by my side the whole time.”

Whether Brown decides to sign a pro contract or head to The Lone Star State to suit up for the Texas A&M, it likely won’t be long before he departs to begin the next chapter in his career.

Meaning he won’t be seeing the two people he says helped him most in getting to this next chapter and that’s why he hopes to spend the big moment with them.

“I’m going to hang out with my parents at home, I’m not trying to overthink it. I’m just trying to enjoy this time and moment with my family.”

The draft is set to get underway Monday and that’s all the time Canada’s top prospect has to reminisce on his days with the Junior National Team or his days manning centre field donning an Ontario Blue Jays jersey.

Because in four to five days, Dasan Brown’s life will forever be changed.

And shortly after comes decision time. Texas A&M? Or enter pro baseball as a 17-year-old?