Rochester's Mitch Brown, a former second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians, is not playing professional baseball this summer.
Brown was drafted by the Indians in 2012 as a senior out of high school at Century. The right-handed pitcher, who turned 25 in April, spent seven seasons in Cleveland's minor-league system and last year played Class AA ball with the Akron RubberDucks.
Brown, who had been converted to a relief pitcher, had his best overall season in the minors in 2018 when he posted a 1.99 ERA in 45 1/3 innings while appearing in 37 games.
Despite the strong season, Brown — who was a free agent — was not resigned by the Indians. Brown's velocity, which had been about 95 miles per hour, unexpected dipped into the upper 80s, according to Jeff Milene, the owner of Rochester Batting Cages. Brown had a tryout with the St. Paul Saints, an independent pro team, in the spring, but he did not make the team. The Saints, and all teams in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, are limited to keeping just four players with five or more years of pro experience.
"He was surprised and disappointed, but he hasn't given up on being a professional pitcher again," Milene said.
In an attempt at getting another shot at pro ball, Brown has been training at Rochester Batting Cages. He has also been giving pitching lessons at the facility.
"We're working on a lot of different things to get his velocity up," Milene said. "He's not going to give up. That's the mindset he has. He wants to get back and he's never going to give up. His work ethic is second to none."
Brown was also granted permission to play amateur baseball and he is on the Rochester Royals' roster. He has pitched in a pair of games, but Royals player/manager Drew Block said Brown has had some other commitments as well and has had some back issues.
"He's been cleared to play and pitched in two games for us, but he hasn't been around for awhile," Block said. "He's had some other things come but, but if he's around for us, we'll use him."
Brown could be on the mound today at Mayo Field when the Royals have a makeup game at 7:30 p.m. against section foe Elko.
"Hopefully he gets back into form," Royals pitcher Matt Meyer said. "We're excited to see him back out there; his stuff is electric."
Brown did not respond to messages seeking comment on his current status. Over his seven-year career in the minors, he pitching in 185 games and 567 2/3 innings. He had a 28-38 record with 10 saves and a 4.65 ERA.
Rochester's Garrett Wohlford has been named the Male Athlete of the Year at Division III Concordia Wisconsin.
Wohlford was a standout goalkeeper for the men's lacrosse team at Concordia and he recently finished his senior season. He had a stellar final season for Concordia. Wohlford led all division goalies in save percentage (.671) this year and was second in goals-against average (6.37). He posted a 15-4 record and had 11 games with double-digit saves.
Injuries catapulted Wohlford into the starting lineup as a freshman. Over the past three years, he has helped Concordia rank no worse than 10th nationally in scoring defense, including second this year.
Wohlford was a team captain the past two seasons and was one of 14 seniors on the roster in 2019.
He had a long list of career awards, including being named USILA All-America, IMLCA All-Region four times, MLC Defensive Player of the Year four times, first-team All-MLC four times, MLC Defensive Player of the Week 10 times and MLC Rookie of the Year.
“I just wanted to leave this program better than when I started,” Wohlford said in a release. “It did a lot for me and I just wanted to give something back for how it has changed me for the better.”
Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org