Hunter Brown holds Rangers scoreless in 6 innings to win his MLB debut with Astros

The 24-year-old Detroit native calls new Astros teammate Justin Verlander his pitching idol.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2022
How does Hunter Brown fit in Astros' plans if JV walks?
The Producer's Pick on Eyewitness News at 3 p.m. is all about Hunter Brown, the No. 1 Astros prospect who makes his MLB debut on Monday. We look at how the club plans to utilize the starting pitcher in the event Justin Verlander leaves.

SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- It's Hunter season in Houston.

The Astros' No. 1 prospect, right-handed pitcher Hunter Brown, officially became a big-league starter when he threw his first pitch on Monday night against the Texas Rangers.

Brown held Texas scoreless and to only three hits in six innings, recording his first MLB win in his debut.

How do the Astros plan to use Brown?

The 24-year-old Brown's path to the show seemed to be a stars-aligning type situation for the Detroit native. The Astros' former fifth-round pick dominated in a majority of his appearances with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys of Triple-A.

Brown posted a 9-4 record in 13 starts and made 23 total appearances this season. He's among the top-four best Pacific Coast League pitchers in the earned run average category with a 2.55 ERA.

Monday's start doesn't only serve as Brown's major league baptism. Manager Dusty Baker wants to get a good look at him in the club's final month of the season, especially while starter Justin Verlander heals from his calf injury, in order to see how Brown could figure into Houston's postseason plans.

Brown at the very least could be kept out of the playoffs but make the 2023 roster.

Brown may also take on relief appearances during his call-up from the minors. He recorded one save for Sugar Land this season.

Brown's call-up story

After dominating Triple-A this season, Brown was added to the Astros' big league roster last Thursday afternoon, just a few days after his 24th birthday.

"When I got the phone call and was able to deliver the news, it was exciting," Sugar Land manager Mickey Storey said. "Hunter Brown is one of the nicest ballplayers I've ever been able to manage, one of the most humble. But then, when he takes the mound, he's one of the most competitive, most fierce, most dominant players I've ever been around."

Brown can throw 99 miles per hour.

"He's very mature, very grounded," Storey said. "Never reads into too much. I've got a lot of confidence in the young man. I think he's going to have a tremendous career, and I think he's going to help this ballclub down the stretch."

In a twist, Brown's baseball idol is pitcher Justin Verlander, who is now his teammate with the Astros.

SEE MORE: Justin Verlander's MRI on calf reveals 'no muscle fiber disruption' as Astros place ace on 15-day IL

Justin Verlander's MRI on his right calf revealed fascial disruption but no muscle fiber disruption, the Astros said. He's on the 15-day injured list.