Over the past few years, Domonic Brown was mentioned in almost every trade rumor the Phillies were associated with. The rumors would fly around for weeks or months at a time, and every time they would end with Dom Brown being labeled “untouchable.” Not even for Roy Halladay would the Phils consider trading their prized prospect. He was considered the future of the team, and the man that would take the torch from the Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to lead the Fightin’ Phils into the next decade.
Brown was held in the same regard as Mike Stanton of the Marlins and Jason Heyward of the Braves. He was viewed as a five-tool athlete who could run as fast as lightning and could hit for both power and average. He was the #4-rated prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America in 2011. He was supposed to help fill the void left by the departure of Jayson Werth this offseason. All things haven’t gone as planned.
After a hand injury in spring training, nothing seemed to go right for Brown. He was sent down to triple-A in order to “fix” his swing and learn to play the outfield more consistently. However, nothing improved since his demotion. His inconsistency and lack of judgment in right field, along with the mid-season addition of Hunter Pence, has caused Brown to be switched to left field were things haven’t gotten any easier. He is now being booed by fans of the triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs for what seems to be a lack of effort.
Since his demotion, his head doesn’t look like it is into the game. He still has a long swing and does not appear to have made any changes. In comparison, John Mayberry, Jr., was sent down to the minors earlier in the year and, while down there, he made the necessary adjustments to his swing to help him become a contributor to the first-place Phillies. Is Brown going to make any adjustments? Can we still expect him to be the next Darryl Strawberry? Is he mentally tough enough to play in Philadelphia?
I still have faith in Brown. He is only 23-years old, and the talent was noticeable in his time with the Phillies. I fully expect him to be on the playoff roster this year. The Phillies could use his speed coming off the bench in late innings. It may do him some good to get back around the winning team and experience the playoffs this year.
The main thing to remember is there’s still time. There’s no need to rush a top prospect when the Phillies already have the best record in baseball. Brown may not be an All-Star right away, but just sit back and relax, because if he does get his problems fixed, he could be exactly what everyone expected.