Philadelphia Phillies: Domonic Brown Deserves to Start for NL in MLB All Star Game
Throughout the month of April, Brown played about as well as anybody who watched him the past few seasons could have expected. He batted just .233 with 11 RBI, three home runs and three doubles. Not even close to All-Star numbers.
But despite the low average and inability to knock in runs, there was something notable about Brown’s hitting. He was hitting the ball hard, spraying it to all fields. The only problem was that the balls were being hit right at fielders.
It is easy to say it now, but looking back, those hard hit balls represented the fact that Brown’s swing was right where it needed to be. Nobody would have said it at the time but in hindsight, Brown and hitting coach Wally Joyner seemed to know exactly what they were doing.
And then May came and with it, brought the month of Brown.
His first home run of the month came on May 2. His second on May 3. His third on May 6.
Brown was hitting the ball hard and it was starting to go out of the park. But other than that, those balls that were landing in gloves, had almost overnight turned into balls up the middle and balls that just snuck past fielder and landed in the gaps. In the first three games of the month, Brown had six hits in 11 at-bats.
After the calendar moved to June, Brown’s May totals were as such: 12 HR (including a span of seven in seven games), 25 RBI (including a span of 16 in 11 games), 17 runs, a .303 average and .688 slugging.
He won back-to-back NL Player of the Week awards and was also named the NL’s Player of the Month.
While many thought, and still think, there is no way Brown can keep up this pace, he has so far not faltered in June. It has been just eight games but Brown is batting .423 with four home runs, eight RBI and eight runs scored. He has reached base safely in all but one game, has scored a run in each game and has an insane OPS of 1.385.
Considering those stats, it wouldn’t be surprising if Brown won yet another player of the week award. In fact, it would be surprising if he didn’t.
But back to the All-Star Game. I don’t think anyone needs to “make a case” for Brown to start as his stats should do that by themselves, but just for the heck of it, look at how he compares to the current top-three vote getters.
Justin Upton: .252/.360/.495 – 41 R, 14 HR, 29 RBI, 36 BB, 72 SO
Bryce Harper: .287/.386/.587 – 29 R, 12 HR, 23 RBI, 25 BB, 30 SO
Ryan Braun: .305/.382/.512 – 30 R, 9 HR, 36 RBI, 27 BB, 51 SO
Domonic Brown: .293/.333/.604 – 33 R, 19 HR, 47 RBI, 13 BB, 44 SO
As you can see, Brown has a better SLG than all three of the top guys, as well as more home runs and RBI. Upton has more runs and a better OBP but his average is nearly .40 points less than Brown and he is striking out at a higher rate as well.
Brown leads all NL players, not just outfielders in home runs with 19. He is also first in HR/AB, knocking one out of the park approximately every 12.3 at-bats.
Three outfielders start and even if those numbers aren’t convincing enough to put Brown at the top of the list, there can be no logical argument that does not have him among the top three.
But it is a fan vote and outside of Philadelphia, no one really knows who Brown is. His recent tear has helped to change that a bit but pitchers still aren’t giving him respect and fans aren’t either.
So while Brown deserves it, he likely won’t get it. However there is still a chance he makes the team whether as a coach’s selection or as a final vote candidate. At that point, keep in mind, Harper is currently on the DL.
Quite possibly, if Brown makes it into the game, he might start after all.
Marilee Gallagher is a Philadelphia Phillies writer for RantSports.com. You can follow her on Twitter (@MGallagher17), like her page on Facebook (Marilee’s Sportswriter Profile) or join her network on Google+