By Jim Callis
July 10, 2001
Teams aren’t supposed to upstage the All-Star Game by announcing trades on that day, one reason why the Fred McGriff deal to the Cubs hasn’t been finalized. But the Padres and and Pirates did pull off a swap that didn’t register very high on baseball’s Richter scale. Eight days after designating outfielder Emil Brown for assignment, Pittsburgh sent him to San Diego for two minor leaguers, righthander Shawn Camp and outfielder Shawn Garrett.
The Pirates had been enthralled by Brown’s tools since taking him in the 1996 major league Rule 5 draft from the Athletics. But while Brown batted .330 in Double-A in 1998 and .307 and .312 in Triple-A the next two years, he never hit in the majors. He posted .205-8-38 numbers with 18 steals in 390 at-bats with Pittsburgh over five seasons. Brown can run and play a fine center fielder, but that won’t mean much if he doesn’t get the job done at the plate. The Padres will use him as a backup. Brown will become the club’s sixth outfielder when Adam Eaton is placed on the disabled list with an elbow sprain.
Both Camp and Garrett were 1997 draft picks, and neither was considered among San Diego’s best prospects. Camp, a 25-year-old reliever, was selected in the 17th round out of George Mason. He has gone 7-2, 3.88 between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Portland this year, boosting his career totals to 17-16, 3.38 in 228 games, with 38 saves and 313 strikeouts in 287 innings. He has a decent arm but isn’t as overpowering as his strikeout rate might indicate. The Pirates assigned him to Double-A Altoona.
Garrett, 22, was a 29th-round pick out of Olney Central (Ill.) JC and signed a year later as a draft-and-follow. He offers some line-drive power and speed, and he’s enjoying his best year as a pro. Garrett hit .313-7-44 with 16 steals in 77 games at high Class A Lake Elsinore and will report to high Class A Lynchburg. In 302 pro games, he has batted .299-24-161 with 32 stolen bases.