Courtesy of Cole Shelton & the Canadian Baseball Network.
At just 16, Jaden Brown is still very young, but compared to most at this year’s T12 tournament at the Rogers Centre, the Mississauga native is a veteran.
Brown is currently playing in his third year at T12 and is the second-best prospect on the 2019 Canadian Baseball Network Draft List. Having already committed to the University of Kentucky, he is expected to be drafted within the first five rounds and heading into his draft year he is savoring his experience at T12.
“I feel like I am having a lot more fun out here. I’m just doing my thing,” Brown said yesterday following Ontario Black’s 4-2 loss to B.C. Orange. “The environment is a little different being the older guy, so just come out here and act like it and that kind of thing, like I have been here before.”
Having fun is definitely something Brown is good at. Before games, you can see him joking around with his teammates, and continuing that in the dugout.
And while the talented shortstop is already committed to Kentucky, he is still hoping to prove to the Kentucky scouts in attendance that he has improved since last year’s T12.
“I just feel like my development over the years [is important],” added Brown. “From year to year, getting better every year and just progressing as a player, that is all I have to show [to scouts at the tournament].”
The 16-year-old has matured over the years and is set to go to Kentucky next fall if he fails to reach an agreement with whatever major league team drafts him.
Brown has no regrets about committing to Kentucky.
“They are a great school and play in the best conference in America and I just felt like it was a good spot for me,” he said.
While Kentucky might be the next stop in Brown’s career, playing at T12 for the third time is a special opportunity for the Mississauga native. When it is time to look back at his experiences at T12, Brown says he will want to remember “how much fun” he had at the event.
Part of the reason he is having so much fun is because of where he is playing. Being able to play in a big league stadium at such a young age is surreal.
“It is definitely different from playing on like recreational fields. It is a major league field,” Brown said. “It is just the environment that is a lot different. Lots of people watching, more than at a regular game. It is just more fun playing in front of lots of eyes.”
With only two more days of T12 action, Brown will look to continue the success he is having at the event into his final year of high school. With a good season, Brown may put himself into the top three rounds of next year’s MLB draft.
Brown has one more season before he makes a decision on whether to go pro or head to college, and while the decision is a tough one, Brown will worry about it when he has to make it. For now, he is mostly concerned about enjoying his experiences on the field.
“Just to keep having fun,” said Brown, when asked about his focus right now. “I feel like everything is going well, and just stay focused and make sure I am doing everything right.”