There was a time, just two years ago, when many believed that prospect Dom Brown would be one of the Philadelphia Phillies outfielders of the future.
But now just about the entire fan base is concerned that Brown is going to become a bust. After all, he struggled in his limited time in the major leagues in 2010 and 2011, batting .236 with just seven home runs and 59 strikeouts in 246 at bats.
And he’s reportedly loafing in the minor leagues. This season, he’s hitting just .266 with a .314 on base percentage in Triple-A, although he has been on a .318 tear since the Phillies moved him to center field and he batted .579 (11 for 19) in a rehab assignment in the Golf Coast League.
But the point is that Brown has struggled in the majors, and he’s been struggling in the minors as well. It’s his bat, his glove, and, many think, his head. He’s letting the pressure affect him and it looks like it might ruin his career.
However, with the Phillies 11 games under .500 and well on their way to missing the postseason for the first time since the 2006 season, would bringing up Brown be a smart move for the Phillies?
I think it would. This is how I look at it.
Wait until Victorino is traded, which is almost certainly going to happen within the next two weeks (before the July 31st trade deadline). Then bring Brown up to replace Victorino on the roster.
And play him.
Give him the last two months of the season to show that he belongs in the major leagues. Play him every day, whether he bats .350, .250, or .150. Bat him the same spot in the lineup every day (sixth or seventh). And let’s find out if this kid is going to be a player or not.
And next year, if he does anything remotely decent this year, I’d keep him on the major league roster for the full season.
There was a reason that Dom Brown was rated as high as the fourth best overall prospect in the game by Baseball America. Let’s give the 24-year old an opportunity to show the world what he can do. And let’s be patient about it.
After all, he went from a .210/.257/.355 slash line in 2010 to .245/.333/.391 in 2011. That’s a sizable improvement, and I’d like to see if he could do even better this year. I think he could.
The season’s probably over anyway. There’s not a lot of pressure. Brown isn’t being called up to save the offense like he was last season.
So let’s find out what the kid can do.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for Eagles Central and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.