Monday, August 13, 2012
Phillies finally make the right call
A little late on this post, but the Phillies are doing right by a player that they have been screwing over since I was still at Penn State. Dom Brown. How quickly we forget that there was a time when Dom Brown was the #1 ranked prospect in all of baseball. Not Mike Trout, not Bryce Harper. Dom Brown! Trout is now a bonafide MVP candidate and Harper is looking like a star in the making. In the mean time, Brown has been up and down, injured as much as healthy, and nothing short of an abomination in the outfield. A player that was once untouchable in the Roy Halladay trade had turned into a player that seemed to be a lost cause. In what is now looking like a lost season (despite my hopes of a miracle turnaround), the Phillies are giving Brown everyday major league playing time, without fear of hitting the bench, for the first time in his career. As an organization, the Phillies have been notorious for moving slowly with their top minor leaguers (Howard and Utley come to mind). Doing so in the past was never a big deal as the team was always succeeding. Presently however, with the team so far out of contention and the core aging, it makes sense to give the young guys a legitimate chance. Apart from Brown, Tyler Cloyd (14-1, 2.07 ERA at AA-AAA this year) should be claiming Kyle Kendrick (or the injured Vance Worley's) rotation spot any day now. But that is beside the point. Brown is finally getting his shot and he has been playing at a high level. Though his sample size is incredibly limited, Brown has shown great patience at the plate (5/4 k:BB ratio), an ability to consistently hit the ball hard, and a strong arm in the OF. The Phillies are still not doing him a service by moving him all over the OF, but it is encouraging that he has the ability to play in CF. As neither the season's most disappointing player (John Mayberry) or career #4 OF Nate Schierholtz appear likely to be the answer in CF next year, Brown is certainly an option. However, if I am the Phillies, I stick Brown in left field (where he has been predominantly playing in the minors), let him focus on his hitting in August, and then if his fielding remains strong, try him in CF in September.