Casey Brown has made the dream-like leap from Phillies fan to Phillies pitcher.
Phillies minor-league pitcher, anyway.
Brown, the former Gloucester Catholic High School standout, on Thursday signed a minor-league contract with his hometown team.
Brown signed at Citizens Bank Park, toured the clubhouse and other behind-the-scenes areas of the stadium and posed for a picture on the field where the Phillies play their home games.
"I would be excited if it was any team," Brown said. "But to sign with my hometown team, it makes it that much more exciting."
Brown, a left-handed pitcher, is coming off a strong summer in which he played in the Golden State Collegiate Baseball League as well as the Frontier League, an independent league based in the Midwest.
Brown played his final season for Central Connecticut State University in the spring.
As a senior at Central Connecticut, Brown logged a team-high 86 innings and had a 3.98 ERA. He finished his career with 10 victories and 158 strikeouts over 253.1 innings.
In the Golden State league, which is based in the San Francisco area and features a lot of undrafted recent college graduates, Brown was 7-0 with a 1.60 ERA over 50.1 innings.
Brown said playing for the Normal (Ill.) Cornbelters of the Frontier League was a big step in his development.
"Just to get that experience really helped me improve," Brown said.
Brown was signed by Phillies scout Rowland George, a Pennsauken High School graduate.
George also signed former Holy Cross Academy and Rutgers Camden left-handed pitcher Jeff Singer at this time last year.
Singer made a strong impression in his first season with the Phillies and has been invited to compete in the Arizona Fall League, which starts on Tuesday.
Singer and Brown were on opposite side of the field at the 2011 South Jersey Non-Public B championship game at Overbrook. Brown's twin brother Cody was the winning pitcher in that game by a 3-0 score, with Singer taking the loss.
Brown said his fastball as been sitting around 91 mph and has touched 93 mph. He said he's worked hard to develop a slider to go along with a change-up.
"I feel confident throwing all three for strikes," said Brown, a 2011 Gloucester Catholic graduate.
Brown said he was "100 percent" a Phillies fan when he was growing up.
Brown will join the other Phillies' propects in Clearwater, Fla., in February with an opportunity to earn a spot on one of the organization's minor-league teams.
"All I ever wanted was an opportunity," Brown said. "I'm going to work as hard as I can and hopefully it will pay off."
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