Brown, the Phillies top prospect in 2009 and the top prospect in all of baseball in 2010 by Baseball America, enters the 2013 season having failed to live up to all the hype. He has bounced back and forth from the majors to the minors since making his debut in 2010, hitting just .236 in 147 career big league games. Being described as a five-tool player coming up through the minors, he has managed just 12 home runs and five steals in his short time in the bigs and has struggled defensively as well.
The hype around Brown has now subsided, but he is now being given the chance to win a starting job and he has run with it with a red hot spring. He leads the team in hits with 16 and runs with 15 so far. He’s shown much better plate discipline, which was an issue over the past few years, and looks poised to be in the lineup for the Phillies to start the season.
Injury could be a concern, however, as Brown has had multiple issues with his hand throughout his career. He had suffered four injuries to his right hand since the 2009 season: a broken hamate bone, a sprained thumb twice and a broken pinkie finger. On Friday he had his right hand stepped on by Tampa Bay first baseman James Loney, and while he said he is fine it’s worth monitoring because of his history.
As long as the injury isn’t serious, Brown has earned a speculative late round draft pick after a spectacular spring. Every now and then things finally click for a former prospect and they become solid hitters after the hype; that could be the case this year for Brown.