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2013 Phillies Player Preview: Domonic Brown

Is 2013 finally the year that Dom Brown lives up to his potential? Catz says Hell yeah.

Popping Bombs and Popping Corks. Its a preview right?
Popping Bombs and Popping Corks. Its a preview right?
Rich Schultz

2012: MLB (56 games) 235/316/396 5 HR 26 RBI 0 SB

2012: AAA (60 games) 286/335/432 5 HR 28 RBI 4 SB

Bill James: (148 games): 274/347/445 17 HR 77 RBI 12 SB

Steamer: (102 games): 265/336/432 12 HR 47 RBI 4 SB

Oliver: (482 PA): .262/.332/.427 14 HR 58 RBI 9 SB

Zips: (128 Games): .265/.335/.461 18 HR 60 RBI 12 SB

The statistical lines above say more about trying to preview what will happen with Domonic Brown this year than anything I can write or has been written. Just like Brown himself, they are literally all over the place. We all know the drill here. Former top prospect in the game, shoved around, beaten down, broken luck, can't catch a break for three years. I don't know if theres a player that has been so polarizing in the Phillies Universe in a long time. Depending on who you talk to its "He's a bum and we should trade him" or "Ruben and the organization have screwed this guy up so bad who knows what he is anymore".

Brown played pretty regularly after the trade deadline, to fairly pedestrian results. The organization had lost so much faith in the kid that they signed a bizzaro version of Brown's worse case scenario in Delmon Young, and tapped Darin Ruf, who had played a total of 39 games in the OF at no higher than AA to compete with him this season coming into the spring. Brown had to earn his spot.

2013 Spring Training: 93 PA 376/430/615 7 HR 17 RBI 6 BB 14 Ks

Take all of the projections, all of last year, throw it out the window and the spring line is the only one that matters here kids.

Yeah, yeah yeah... I know. Spring training doesn't matter, spring training statistics don't matter, blah blah blah. Here's the thing though. In this case they do. Why? *

Well, lets break it down a little.

1) If you watch his swing in the spring, vs last year, he’s done two things with Henderson and Joyner: a) he’s lowered his hands and “leveled” his swing plane. Which usually accounts, when successfully, in more line drives, and more power to all fields. B) he’s using a two handed finish. Think utley, and 2012 Edward encarnacion.

2) When you see real changes, AND the player has real results (don’t care about the home runs, I care about the plane of the ball off the bat, the increased power, and the success of the changes) that’s something to get excited about.

3) When you see those changes AND know that said changes are coming from a very disciplined batter like Brown, who can also draw a walk or ten, has excellent patience at the plate, and is rarely fooled by off speed pitches, your left with one thing to fix


Namely, adapting to pitchers, and adapting to them adapting to you.

So guys, seriously, that's why youget excited about THESE spring statistics. It’s ok. They’re real.

That’s how you combine metrics with reality.

But more than that? For the first time in his career Dom Brown comes into opening day as THE MAN. The job is his. Over the next year, we're finally going to find out what and who he is.He didn't just win the job he completely and utterly lapped the field three times over.

Now the question becomes:

Is he the guy who, in 200 minor league games from 2009 to 2010 crushed 34 HR and stole 40 bases, while compiling a .315/.382/.550 slash across three levels, while showing plate discipline beyond his years?

Or is he the guy who, after suffering a hamate injury that sapped his power and being bounced around the organization in favor of Hunter Pence john Mayberry and Raul Ibanez, tinkered with his swing and looked lost at the plate, and in the field for two years at every level. From 2011 through 2012, in virtually an equal number of games at both the AAA and major league level, Brown has delivered to the tune of roughly .270/.340ish/450 production with limited power (just 5 HR per year) and limited steals.

None of us know the answer here, but the thing that EXCITES me the most about this season, if I'm being honest, is that we get to have that question answered in front of us, as opposed to watching him do it in Chicago while Alfonso Soriano strikes out once a game.

Every day.

500-600 at bats

I could type 1500 words more on Dom Brown but seriously, haven't we written enough and talked enough about the guy? Now, I just wanna SEE IT!!!

Dom Brown will make his mark one way or the other in a Phillies Uniform. No more questions. No more second guessing, no more wondering what if. For Dom Brown, its walk the walk time. (but not too many walks, cause, like, you know, we don't like, like walks....)

And at the end of it all, if I only make one prediction this year, its this.

By October, If we're popping Corks? It will be because of Dom Brown more than anyone else.

*editors note: added from my comments below.