Self scouting report: Blue Jays' Dasan Brown

April 28th, 2020

Just as baseball was coming to the conclusion that play would need to be postponed in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Dasan Brown was wrapping up an exhibition game between the Blue Jays and the Canadian Junior National Team at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla.

On that Thursday in March, the 18-year-old outfielder had just started getting into action in his first Spring Training as a professional. A year earlier, the native of Oakville, Ont., had been in the opposing dugout in a similar matchup, donning a red-and-white jersey for Team Canada. In June, Brown’s hometown squad gave him a chance to trade maple leaves when Toronto selected him in the third round of the Draft, making the young center fielder the first Canadian off the board.

“It means everything to me,” Brown said of representing his country for both teams. “When you’re a Little League player growing up, you obviously think about it but you don’t really believe it’s going to happen. Once you get to the point where it’s a possible reality, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.”

In a debut season shortened by Hurricane Dorian, Brown got into 14 rookie-level Gulf Coast League games last year. The 6-foot, 185-pound outfielder hit .222/.444/.356 in his abbreviated start -- at two-and-a-half years younger than the circuit’s average player -- with two triples, two doubles, six stolen bases, eight runs scored and five driven in, and he quickly learned the biggest difference in playing the game as a pro.

“You have to get up and you have to be ready to work,” Toronto’s No. 17 prospect said. “If you’re not locked in, you’re going to struggle by the third day. The biggest thing is getting in that mindset that it’s time to work. And when we’re at work, we’re doing what we need to be doing, we’re not messing around.”

Evaluating himself using a Major League Scouting Bureau report and the 20-to-80 scouting scale, basing his grades on the standards set by the Bureau, Brown offered insight into what his future might hold.

Top tools
The teenaged Canadian gave himself the highest future grade in run speed, keeping it consistent with the top-of-the-chart evaluation his run tool currently has and noting that his innate ability to run is thanks to his mother Patricia, a former track athlete.

“I didn’t work on getting fast, it was a natural thing for me,” Brown said. “But I did run track in high school and learned the proper running form, so that helped my speed. Right now I do a lot of leg work -- keeping mobility in my legs is the biggest thing for me because when you’re not playing as much and you’re putting on more weight, the muscle can add tightness to your body. So I’m working on staying loose and not overworking, but making sure I’m doing the right work.”

Room for improvement
Jumping his power tool two full grades from present to future, Brown offered a below-average evaluation of his current ability to hit for power, with potential to do so at a slightly-above-average rate as he works his way to the highest level.

“I just need time,” Brown said. “I’m young, I’m 18, and I haven’t reached my full strength potential yet, so for me it’s more about learning the basics and understanding what pitches I can hit, what pitches I can’t hit, and working from there. I understand it’s very rare -- especially for high school kids -- to come out of high school and have a lot of raw power, so it’s more about working on timing and the right things.”

Scouting the scout
Offering insight into his own game, the outfielder had some experience in the realms of scouting and grading when he filled out the evaluation.

“I’ve been introduced to it,” Brown said. “I have an understanding of it but I haven’t dived into it. Obviously going into the Draft last year, people use all these numbers to rate your game, so that’s more of where I gained an understanding of what those numbers truly meant.”

What the scouts say
“I would like to see Dasan continuing to build off his success from last year, where he was able to capitalize on his game-changing speed and impact the game on the bases and on defense,” said Kory Lafreniere, manager of amateur scouting for the Blue Jays and Brown’s signing scout. “He has a chance to be a multi-dimensional player, and honing those skills will put him in a position to be the player he can be.”

What’s missing
“Even if some tools are a bit lower than others, at the end of the day I’m still going to compete 100 percent,” Brown said of what the report doesn’t say about him. “That’s going to make up for the fact that I might not have the most power or anything else. It’s more about competing and going out there and trying to help the team win.”