Brown hoping to swing his way onto the Rays' roster

Outfielder has slugged 140 homers in 838 Minor League games

Brown hoping to swing his way onto the Rays' roster

PORT CHARLOTTE -- Corey Brown's locker sits on the longshot wall inside the Rays' clubhouse.

The 29-year-old outfielder is signed to a Minor League contract with an invite to Spring Training and understands the drill: the odds of him being on the 25-man roster when the Rays break camp are remote.

That reality won't change the slugging outfielder's approach.

"I really try not to come in and look at the odds of making the team," said Brown, who has a double and a home run in three at-bats this spring. "I think when you sign with a team, you know what they have and what to expect.

"When you're in my shoes -- unless I establish myself in the bigs at some point to secure the following season -- I just need to stay healthy, take care of myself, and just try to put up good at-bats and play good defense. And let the rest play its course."

First-year Rays manager Kevin Cash understands the plight of any player in Brown's situation.

"I'm sensitive to that situation because I did that for a lot of camps," Cash said. "Not to beat a dead horse, but just keep communicating with them because we brought them in here for a reason. We think they can either help us Day 1 or a month into the season or at some point."

Brown has one commodity the Rays lack: power.

In 838 Minor League games, he has hit 140 home runs.

"He hit a home run last year against us in Spring Training that I don't know if it's come down yet," Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton said. "We had an idea of what we were getting. And our scouting department does a good job of identifying guys that we're going to go after."

Brown, who hails from Tampa, signed with the Rays for reasons other than returning to his hometown.

"It wasn't like I chose this team because of where I'm from," Brown said. "I feel like of all the teams that were interested, this is my best opportunity to hopefully make the team, or at some point during the season, if I'm at [Triple-A] Durham, maybe getting an opportunity then. You never know what's going to happen.

"When I was younger I got caught up in those things and sometimes it gets the best of your emotions and kind of affects how you play. So now it's just more of just worrying about myself and just trying to play the game hard."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.