He was once the most highly touted prospect in all of baseball. A few failed years later, he's no longer a member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
On Monday, as Victor Filoromo reported earlier, the Phillies removed their former top prospect and 2013 All-Star Domonic Brown from the 40-man roster.
Unless Brown agrees to a minor league assignment, which he certainly won't, he is now a free agent. His controversial Phillies career is over.
And this will be our last image of him.
Brown, running as he always did as if his legs were made out of boat oars, suffered a concussion on the play and allowed Ruben Tejada to circle the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
It is a sadly fitting ending to a career that at one time held so much promise.
Amazing. pic.twitter.com/a6UfjjcPuN— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) October 19, 2015
So yeah, we once lived in a world, in July of 2012, where Dom Brown was the highest ranked prospect in baseball, even higher than Mike Trout.
This was not sighted to embarrass John Manuel, who owned up to it on Twitter.
Instead, I bring it up to show just how far Brown fell during his parts of six seasons with the Phillies.
Of course, there are lots of reasons why this didn't work out.
First, he was tinkered with constantly by the Phils. He lowered his hands. He raised his hands. He changed his stance in the box. You name it, the Phillies tried it with him, even before his struggles.
Second, he was up and down from the minors on numerous occasions, playing 35, 56 and 56 games in his first three seasons. That's hardly enough time to generate enough reps to become accustomed to Major League pitching.
Third, the trade for Hunter Pence during the 2011 season stunted his growth in a way that may still be hard to quantify. After the Phils decided to let Jayson Werth go in the off-season, they anointed Brown the starter in right field. Unfortunately, Brown suffered a wrist injury in spring training and missed all of April.
However, he recovered nicely and batted .333/.378/.545 in 37 PAs in May with four doubles and a home run. He struggled in June, batting just .165/.258/.354 with three doubles and four homers. Brown's left-handedness in an already lefty-heavy lineup and his June struggles set Phils officials off to search for a right-handed option for the middle of the order.
And even though Brown batted .296/.398/.366 in July, the team pulled the trigger for Hunter Pence, even though they were already a lock to make the playoffs. Pence played well in the second half for the Phils, the team won 102 games, but were bounced out of the playoffs early.
Fourth, injuries dogged him. In 2012, he battled knee inflammation and hamstring injuries and started off the season in Triple-A. He ended up appearing in just 56 games that year. It seemed as though Brown's chances of being a star player were slipping away. In parts of three seasons, he had compiled an fWAR of -0.7, -0.2 and -0.4.
Fifth, his defense never came around. He started his career as a below average right fielder, then was shifted to left, which was even worse. But even when he was playing in right, his defense was far below average, among the worst in baseball. He was worth -15 Defensive Runs Saved as a left fielder, -15 Defensive Runs Saved as a right fielder, and -30 overall.
For a guy who was a wide receiver at Miami University, he was surprisingly unathletic on the baseball field.
But in 2013, it appeared as if maybe the light switch had flipped on, specifically in May of that season, when Brown went on his kill crazy rampage, slugging 12 home runs with a .991 OPS and a wRC+ of 173. He made the All-Star team that season, finishing the year with 27 homers and an fWAR of 1.9.
That was beautiful. So much hope. But it would be the only season in his career in which he finished as an above replacement level player.
The 2014 season was a complete and total disaster. Whether it was a combination of too much tinkering with his mechanics, an inability to gauge any feel for the game, a total lack of baseball instincts, or whatever, Brown hit rock bottom, batting .235/.285/.349 in 512 PAs for an fWAR of -1.7.
He was, simply put, the worst player in baseball.
In 2015, he was largely a forgotten man, dealing with injuries and spending much of the season in Triple-A once again. He hit just .228/.284/.349 with five homers in 204 PAs this year, with an fWAR of -0.4.
And now, here we are. Brown is still a young-ish player, just 28 years old, and a free agent. He'll be among the younger free agents on the market, and chances are some team will roll the dice and sign him to a cheap, one-year contract.
Probably the St. Louis Cardinals. And they'll turn him into a four-win player, because they're the Cardinals and that's just the Phils' luck.
When he was here, Brown spawned endless debate among Phillies fans. Did the organization do him wrong? Did they mess with his mind, jerking up and down from the minors, pulling an everyday job out from under him at a young age, tinkering with him too much?
Or was Brown simply incapable of becoming the player most thought he would be? Was he simply unable to make the adjustment to the big leagues? Was he simply unable to figure out what pitchers were doing to him? Was he simply not capable of learning how to field his position adequately? Was he just not able to harness that incredible athletic ability?
In the end, Domonic Brown became the sad tale of a much hyped prospect who fizzled out and turned into nothing. He accumulated 1748 career plate appearances with the Phillies, so no one can argue he didn't get a chance to prove himself, especially in 2013 and '14.
And with his removal from the 40-man roster, Dom Brown's sad Phillies career is over.
Goodbye, Dom. Best of luck.