Seth Brown finally had his moment.
In his 102nd career plate appearance, the slugger achieved a milestone that had long evaded him in the A’s 7-3 win over the Astros on Saturday, launching his first career home run well into Minute Maid Park’s second deck in an awesome display of power.
“I’m happy for him,” said manager Bob Melvin.
Brown’s first Major League home run was the definition of a no-doubter, traveling 424 feet with an exit velocity of 106.1 mph and nearly clearing the second deck.
Brown knew it was gone off the crack of the bat. The slugger immediately looked toward Houston’s scoreboard in search of the baseball, taking several steps down the first-base line with his bat in hand before jogging around the bases.
Right-hander Ryne Stanek, who served up the high fastball that wasn’t quite high enough, yelled in dissatisfaction as the ball sailed well into the bleachers.
Brown's teammates understood the magnitude. Several A’s greeted him with a barrage of emphatic high-fives upon his return, while others offered hugs. After a fan appeared to throw the ball back on the field, infielder Tony Kemp could be seen signaling for the baseball. Brown could be seen smiling, almost relieved to finally have broken into the home run column.
“You grind on it,” Melvin said. “He had 30-something home runs, came up to the big leagues and helped us out, had some doubles. The only thing he doesn’t have on his resume is a homer for a guy who really is a home run hitter. I know that takes a lot of pressure off him now that he finally has a home run.”
That power was no secret to anyone in the A’s organization. During his time in the Minors, Brown totaled 92 home runs, including 37 in 2019 alone.
Brown had plenty of opportunities upon being called up for the first time in late August of 2019, totaling 83 plate appearances that season, but he never managed to clear the fence.
The left-handed slugger made the 2020 Opening Day roster, but only had five plate appearances, spending most of the season bouncing between the team and the taxi squad.
Brown didn't make the A’s Opening Day roster out of Spring Training, losing to Ka’ai Tom in the competition for fourth outfielder, but was recalled when Chad Pinder was placed on the 10-day IL with a left knee sprain.
With Pinder still out for the next couple games, Brown will have an opportunity to get consistent playing time and flash some more pop. In his first go-around with the A’s in 2019, he hit .293 with eight doubles across 26 games.
Brown’s bomb wasn’t his only impressive display of strength this season. Against the Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer, Brown smoked a single with an exit velocity of 112.4 mph.