The red pinstriped seas part when the name Domonic Brown is offered to a crowd of Philadelphia Phillies‘ fans. Some were hoping that this affable young man would make the most of the latest opportunity he was offered this season, while others rolled their eyes and pursued their lips when number 9 made the team out of spring training.
While two months doesn’t represent a large sample size, Brown is only four game away from matching the highest number of on-field appearances (56) in his brief major league career. Through the first 52 contests of this season he has already beaten past statistical highs in a various offensive categories including hits, home runs and RBI’s.
A variety of injury issues, a lack of consistent playing time, or production, along with the presence of other players caused Brown’s past ‘opportunities’ to be somewhat muted. The same can’t be said this season.
Brown has represented the next generation of Phillies’ hopefuls since 2010. He’s come along at a time in franchise history when iconic positional players such as: Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz have all been playing through the prime of their collective Philadelphia careers. That fact alone has made Brown a target of one segment of the fan base that has long been projecting (or seemingly hoping) for the Phillies’ demise.
Some people loudly pronounce that so-and-so is bound to be a failure and then often proceed to search for all indications that their theories are being proven true. It’s more important for certain personality types to think that they are always right than it is to ever admit that they were wrong about anything (ever). Of course this character trait extends far beyond the diamond. But, that story is best suited for a different type of venue.
Brown’s defensive efforts have thus far fallen below his offensive exploits. He’s not a complete player and may never reach that ideal target. However, he’s a team player who has earnestly displayed the desire to do whatever it takes to play for the Phillies in the major leagues since he was drafted in 2006.
In a season filled with a stream of mixed signals, Brown’s light has increasingly flashed green. All honest baseball loyalists have and will continue to wish this 25-year-old man the best on his journey wherever it may lead.