Denver, Colorado—Middle Tennessee right-hander Aaron Brown was selected by the Houston Astros with the 268th pick in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball's First Year Player draft.
"We are extremely excited for Aaron [Brown] being drafted in the ninth round by the Houston Astros," says Blue Raider Head Coach Jim Toman. "Aaron was a model student athlete, worked very hard, threw strikes and competed at an elite level. His character and team first mentality were exemplary and we are very proud of what he has accomplished."
Brown becomes the first Blue Raider selected in the MLB draft since Aaron Antonini was taken in the 18th round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019. His 6-foot-4-inch frame and ability to locate a mid-to-high 90's fastball and pitch deep into ballgames make him a solid addition to a roster at the professional level.
Brown finished the season with the sixth-highest single season strikeout total in program history with an astounding 113 strikeouts, which also placed him 25th nationally. His total 113:15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 85.2 innings of work was eighth best in the country. The Mt. Juliet native also struck out 11 or more batters five times throughout the span of the 2021 season and notched a career-high 13 punch outs against Memphis on March 19.
During the 2021 season Brown was named Conference USA Pitcher of the Week, Tennessee Sports Writers Association Pitcher of the Week, earned a spot on the All-Conference USA second team and was selected as a member of the Conference USA All-Tournament team. The right-hander was also the eighth pitcher in Blue Raider history to record 100 or more strikeouts in a single season.
His final collegiate start capped off one of the best single-seasons in recent memory for a Blue Raider, when Brown fired seven innings to lead Middle Tennessee to a win against then #20 Charlotte in the opening game of the C-USA Tournament, MT's first win against a ranked opponent since it took down Vanderbilt in 2018.
Brown's first assignment will likely come in one of two places: with the Florida Complex League Astros, the Astros Rookie-Ball affiliate which has both a blue and orange squad, or with the Low-A affiliate Fayetteville Woodpeckers. Parent clubs have until 11:59 pm on August 15 to sign draft picks to a contract, after such time players can be assigned to a club.