Meet the Fish: Hogan Brown
By Bill Potrecz • BP Sports Niagara
Hogan Brown isn’t giving up on the dream just yet.
The 24-year-old outfielder for the Welland Jackfish is well aware the clock is ticking on his aspirations of playing professionally but isn’t ready to call it a career.
The Virginia Beach, Va., native played on the independent circuit with teams in the Pioneer and Frontier Leagues before joining the Jackfish last season on the recommendation of Brown’s former coach at Virginia Commonwealth, Niagara Falls native Mike McRae.
“I was released by my Pioneer team and it was kind of a last minute,” Brown said. “I was trying to find a team and reached out to them.”
Brown had a solid 2022 campaign for the Jackfish, hitting .287 in 37 games before batting a robust .440 in seven playoff contests and is back again this year where he is off to a torrid start hitting .488 in 11 games.
“It’s kind of like a last effort for me. Maybe this year even, if I can’t jump back to the Frontier or Pioneer League I might be hanging them up,” Brown admitted.
He is grateful to have a competitive league to play in while he waits for another opportunity.
“It’s a tough business in independent ball. Guys get bounced in and out. I was just grateful to have a place to come and keep playing,” he said.
He has nothing but positive things to say about being a Jackfish.
“I love it here. It’s a great atmosphere here and tons of fans and it’s a good, competitive league,” he said. “I’m loving it.”
Jackfish manager Brian Essery has utilized Brown up and down the lineup.
“He’s been one of the best hitters in the league,” Essery said. “He’s bounced all around — leadoff, nine-hole, fifth, second-hole. Still trying to figure out our lineup so we’re bouncing guys around.
“He’s been consistent all year around.”
Brown has good power, but can also play small ball.
“He’s a gap to gap guy,” Essery said. “He does a little bit of everything and he runs like a deer and plays a great outfield too wherever you put him.”
Brown enjoys being able to beat the opposition with his bat and his legs.
“Even in college I was everywhere in the lineup — two-hole, leadoff — I’ve always been a little bit of everything,” he said. “I like to think I have the ability to do it all. I can hit with power in the middle of the lineup or I can bunt and run at the top or bottom of the lineup.”
Brown spent four year with the VCU Rams where he hit an even .300 in 164 career games.
Brown, who also played football and basketball growing up before concentrating solely on baseball in high school, has no grand plan yet following his baseball career.
“Not really sure yet. Still playing baseball one day at a time,” he said.