Hunter Brown has helium. Under the radar until recently, the 22-year-old right-hander raised eyebrows during Fall Instructional League, and he continued to do so this spring with the Astros. A power arsenal is the reason why. Houston’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline (our own rankings are forthcoming; he was ninth on last year’s list), Brown features a four-pitch mix that includes an explosive mid-90s heater and a hammer curveball.
His background befits the low profile he brought with him to pro ball. A Detroit native, Brown played collegiately at Division II Wayne State University, and he lasted until the penultimate pick of the fifth round of the 2019 draft. That he didn’t hear his name called earlier is yet another part of his underdog story.
Brown — currently at Houston’s alternate site awaiting the start of the minor-league campaign — addressed the path he’s taken, and the plus pitches that promise to take him to the top, shortly before the Astros broke camp to start the major-league season.
Laurila: You played at Wayne State. How did that come to be?
Hunter Brown: “I had the opportunity to do a little bit of catching, and…