Phillies sign undrafted free-agent pitcher Blake Brown

Philadelphia Phillies hat at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies hat at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The Phillies have signed undrafted RHP Blake Brown out of UNC Asheville

After coming to terms with eight undrafted free-agent pitchers, the Philadelphia Phillies added a ninth on Thursday, 6-foot-1, 195-pound right-hander Blake Brown.

In his recent shortened senior season at UNC Asheville, Brown posted a 1.89 ERA with a team-high 26 strikeouts spanning four starts and 19 innings, while limiting opponents to a .141 batting average. A year prior, Brown appeared mostly in relief, but still struck out an impressive 61 batters across 50 frames.

Brown was the first to announce his own signing, tweeting: “All the hard work has finally paid off! Proud to say I have officially signed to be apart of the Philadelphia Phillies organization. Go Phillies.”

Brown was named the Big South Conference Starting Pitcher of the Week for the week of March 2-8 after tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out seven batters, all the while allowing just one hit.

“So proud of you Blake,” his father, Victor, tweeted. “We have been waiting for this moment since you were 12 years old. Your never give up attitude & determination to make your dreams come true have payed off. Go Phillies.”

The North Carolina native entered the draft as being listed among the top 250 collegiate prospects, according to D1Baseball, which describes him as a “power arm.” Brown logged 94 strikeouts overall in his collegiate career spanning 93 2/3 innings.

Brown joins the following other undrafted pitching prospects who have recently signed with the Phillies organization: right-handers Chase Antle (Coastal Carolina University), Jonathan Hughes (Georgia Tech), Sam Jacobsak (Northeastern University), Noah Skirrow (Liberty University), and Billy Sullivan IV (University of Delaware); and southpaws Jordan Fowler (University of Central Missouri), Jake McKenna (Ocean City High School), and J.P. Woodward (Lafayette College).

As part of the shortened 2020 draft, from 40 rounds to just five due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams could sign an unlimited amount of undrafted free-agents thereafter for no more than $20,000. It appears the organization’s new amateur scouting director Brian Barber is making the most of the opportunity.