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Friday, July 31, 2015

Brothers steps up to AA baseball

Friday, July 9, 2010

(Photo)
Rex Brothers goes through the motions on the pitcher's mound. The former Central High star has been promoted to Class AA Tulsa.
(Submitted photo)
Former Shelbyville Central and Lipscomb University standout pitcher Rex Brothers is one step closer to his dream of playing in the major leagues.

Brothers was recently promoted to the Colorado Rockies Double-A franchise Tulsa Drillers.

What a huge accomplishment considering he hasn't even played a full year of professional baseball.

The hard throwing left-hander was a first-round draft pick of the Rockies in the draft last summer.

After a short stay at Tri-Cities, the Rockies short-season affiliate in Washington State, Brothers closed out the 2009 summer in low-A ball with the Asheville Tourist.

He started this spring in High-A with the Modesto Nuts in California and found out of his promotion to Double-A last week.

"I didn't know this was coming at all and this was a surprise. After our game last Tuesday, my manager called me into his office to meet with him along with one of the Rockies player development guys and that's when they told me that I was going up to Double-A," Brothers said. "I'm extremely happy and excited about being promoted to Double-A and I'm going to continue to work hard and do what they tell me to do. I've been fortunate to move up as quickly as I have so far."

There are a number of reasons I think he's had three promotions in less than a year.

First and foremost, it's been his performance on the mound.

Brothers has excelled at every level he's played in the minors.

Thus far during his minor league career he's posted a 2.91 era in 61 1/3 innings of work. He has held opposing hitters to a combined .185 batting average and he has a total of 77 strikeouts while allowing only one home run.

This season he has a 2.45 ERA with hitters only batting .153.

His fastball has been clocked as high as 98 mph this summer and the development of his changeup has been a huge success.

His work ethic and attitude are second to none and he's willing to do whatever they ask in order to get better.

He is being used as a middle reliever and that might make his path to the major leagues even shorter.

"I think their plan for me is to be a middle reliever or setup guy and I think that's going to be my role with the organization from here on out," Brothers said. "I'm making the adjustment from being a starter in college to a reliever and I'm becoming more comfortable with that role."

Brothers said that the hitters at each level are better and seem to be more patient at the plate.

He's not sure how long he'll stay in Double-A ball. He just wants to keep on getting better and take care of business while on the mound.

That's been his philosophy since he started pitching in the youth leagues locally and that train of thought has paid dividends thus far.

There's no doubt in my mind that he has the physical ability and work ethic along with the mental discipline to make it to the major leagues.

But for now it's fun to watch him improve and advance through the minor leagues as he pursues his life-long dream.

-- Gary Johnson is a Times-Gazette sports writer. Contact him at gjohnson@t-g.com.

Gary Johnson
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