SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- After dominating Triple A this season with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, pitching phenom Hunter Brown was added to the Houston Astros' big league roster late Thursday afternoon.
Brown turned 24 years old on Monday. That's the same day Sugar Land manager Mickey Storey told him he'd be leaving the minors, joining the big league squad, and achieving his lifelong dream.
"When I got the phone call and was able to deliver the news, it was exciting," Storey told ABC13 on Thursday. "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, the top-ranked prospect in the entire Astros organization, is a right-hander who throws 99 miles per hour. Prior to being officially placed on the Astros' Major League roster, Brown was added to the "taxi squad" on Tuesday.
"He's very mature, very grounded," Storey added. "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."
At least early on in his MLB career, Brown is expected to be a relief pitcher for the Astros. With Triple A this season, he had a 2.55 earned run average with 134 strikeouts in 106 innings. He limited opposing hitters to a .186 batting average.
A native of Detroit, Brown's baseball idol is former Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who is now his teammate with the Astros.
"Getting promoted this year was important for Hunter, because he wanted that opportunity," Storey said of Brown's desire to share a clubhouse with Verlander, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022 season. "You never know about next year. So now he gets to spend some time with a guy he idolized and pick his brain and watch and learn. I know it's big for him. We held him in the highest regards, but he pitches with a chip on his shoulder, and that's part of the edge Hunter has on guys."