Domonic Brown isn’t ready to go away.
Not at 25-years old, and not even with all of the veteran outfielders that the Philadelphia Phillies will throw in his way this year.
The former can’t-miss prospect wants to secure a full-time job for the first time in his MLB career, and is already off to his best start in spring to make sure that happens. On Tuesday afternoon, in his fourth game for the team, Brown crushed a pitch to deep center field for his second homer in three Grapefruit League games.
That’s enough to give the young outfielder the early lead on the team as far as homers are concerned, and he’s now 3-for-6 on the Grapefruit schedule, and quickly distancing himself from folks like Darin Ruf for a starting spot in left when Opening Day rolls around.
He’s getting a bit of help too, as both Ruf and John Mayberry Jr. are currently hitless in their spring campaigns.
It’s been a rough ride in the majors thus far for Brown, who has essentially received the Travis Snider treatment that the Toronto Blue Jays gave their young outfielder. The top organizational prospect has floundered since being touted as the Phillies next young star, and has been a victim of both ineffectiveness and circumstance around the team not being about to give him a sustained shot.
This season, with Shane Victorino gone, and newcomer Delmon Young not ready to start the season, Brown has as good a chance as he’s ever gotten not to only get his name in the lineup, but to stay there even if he goes through a slump.
No, that slump can’t be the .235/.316/.396 he put up over 212 PA last season, but Brown’s power-speed combo that once had him touted as a five-tool prospect in the same breath as Jason Heyward hasn’t diminished, and he might only be 500 at-bats away from showing the Phillies exactly what they’ve been missing out by holding him back for guys like Raul Ibanez and Juan Pierre, who were deemed to be more well-established quantities more 25-year old.
That time of being blocked by mediocre veterans may soon some to an end in 2013. In fact, if he can keep hitting like the way he has so far, Brown might just end up being the surest thing in the Phillies outfield going into 2013.