Ray Brown (minors03)
Raymond Lawrence Brown
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 210 lb.
- School California State University, Sacramento
Ray Brown hit .384/?/.567 as a junior at Sacramento State and made the Western Athletic Conference All-Conference team at DH. He batted .376/?/.545 as a senior and again was an All-Conference selection, this time as an outfielder.
He was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 28th Round of the 1994 amateur draft. In his first professional season, Ray was named Pioneer League MVP with the Billings Mustangs and Short-Season All-Star by Baseball America. He led the league in slugging (.606) and was among the top five in hitting (.367), on-base percentage (.450), doubles (19), and extra-base hits (31). League managers voted him as the #2 prospect in the league behind the man across the field from him, Billings third baseman Aaron Boone. Oddly, the MVP did not make the league All-Star team as Jeremy Winget was picked at first base.
Brown began the 1995 season with the Winston-Salem Warthogs of the Carolina League (hitting .265/.354/.452) before moving on to the Charleston Alley Cats of the South Atlantic League, where he was just 2 for 17 in six contests; he was third in Carolina League in RBI (50) before reassignment to Charleston. Ray played for the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League in 1996. He finished the season 2nd in league in average (.327, trailing only Dan Rohrmeier), 4th in on-base percentage (.412) and 5th in slugging percentage (.533).
To the Padres
Before the 1997 season, Brown was traded by the Reds to the San Diego Padres for LHP Joey Eischen. He began the season with the AA Mobile BayBears, hitting .352/.453/.508 in 57 games, before promotion to AAA Las Vegas Stars. Otherwise a first baseman in the minors, he appeared in a career-high 27 games in the outfield while with Las Vegas in '97 as Derrek Lee manned first. With the Stars, he batted .257/.316/.393 in 41 outings.
To the Royals and Mexico
Ray was then selected by the Kansas City Royals from the Padres in the minor league part of the 1997 Rule V Draft. With the Wichita Wranglers in 1998, Ray hit a career-high 21 home runs and drove in a career-high 96 runs. Brown batted .318/.402/.557 and was 10th in the Texas League in average. He led league first basemen in putouts (986), errors (23) and double plays (94).
He opened the 1999 season with the Olmecas de Tabasco of the Mexican League after being loaned to Tabasco by the Royals. While in Mexico, Ray batted .299/~.420/.414 and walked a career-high 69 times. He then was assigned to AA Wichita at the end of the season, and hit .318/.423/.477 while driving in 11 runs in 13 games.
Spring Training to Chico
Ray as traded by the Royals to the Baltimore Orioles for 2B Jeff Reboulet before the 2000 season but was released during spring training. He was then signed by the Chico Heat of the Western League for the 2000 season and stole a career-high 8 bases while batting .327/.401/.470; his 82 RBI was second in the league behind teammate Buck McNabb. He was named to the League's All-Star team as designated hitter. Ray spent the 2001 spring training with the Chicago Cubs, was released before the season, and returned to Chico. 2001 was a banner year for Brown with Chico; he was named Western League All-Star first baseman and MVP and was named an Independent All-Star by Baseball America. He led his league in average (.385), doubles (39), and hits (138) while finishing second in the league in extra-base hits (50), on-base percentage (.465), runs (75), slugging percentage (.584), total bases (209), and walks (55). He was third with 88 RBI, just two behind the league leader.
In 2002, Ray was once again signed by a Major League organization, the Houston Astros, and released during spring training, and returned to Tabasco. He hit .282/.363/.389 in 149 AB with Tabasco before coming back to Chico. He had his contract purchased by the Seattle Mariners and was assigned to the AA San Antonio Missions. He spent slightly more than one month with the team, batting only .225/.281/.303, before he was released and returned to Chico. With the Heat that year, Brown batted .327/.403/.450 and tied for 8th in the WL in average in the league's final run.
Kansas City T-Bones
Ray signed with the Kansas City T-Bones of the Northern League for 2003, though his playing time was limited due to foot injuries. He hit .279/.373/.413 for the T-Bones in 247 AB. Once again healthy in 2004, Ray was named to Baseball America's Independent All-Star second team. He ranked in top five of nine offensive categories (average, total bases, home runs, RBI, hits, doubles, on-base percentage, extra-base hits, and slugging percentage). He batted .362/.431/.624 with 36 doubles, 19 home runs and 85 RBI. Only Adam Olow had a better average in the Northern League that year.
Ray played again in Kansas City in 2005, his last professional season. He batted a very respectable .305/.382/.429.
Ray Brown finished his 12 year professional career with an outstanding .318 batting average, .400 on-base percentage, .497 slugging percentage, and 148 home runs.
His brother Keith Brown pitched in the major leagues. He resides in Kansas City with his wife and beautiful daughter.