Apparently less than two hundred major league at bats directly following breaking some pointless bone in your hand that keeps people from hitting baseballs over fences automatically transforms you from one of baseball’s brightest prospects into something resembling Greg Golson.
Domonic Brown had a tough start last season.
The Philadelphia fan base really wanted him to come to spring training and show everyone why Ruben Amaro didn’t trade him for Roy Halladay. Instead, he struggled mightily and ended his spring by breaking his hand. I got the feeling that people were disappointed, but were willing to give the kid the benefit of the doubt. When he returned from his injury, he continued to bash the living hell out of minor league pitching and was given the opportunity to become the major league club’s everyday right fielder. Based on the fact that the general manager traded the two best minor league prospects in the system for Hunter Pence, it seems that Brown failed to impress. He hit just .245 with only five home runs and played well below average defense.
The fan base, not known for their patience, reacted exactly as one would imagine an irrational, semi lucid group would respond; they wanted Brown traded or killed. Hold on, make that traded then killed. His status as an uber-prospect has degenerated into being booed off the field after a tough day in the field in Lehigh Valley. Every closet GM has determined that Brown can not hit on the major league level and that the team would be better off without his services. The Phillies real general manager even acquired the guy who stole Domonic’s sole chance to be a hero; Lanyce Nix.
In summation, the fans hate him, the general manager keeps getting guys to supplant him and John Mayberry Jr. has miraculously figured out how to hit a baseball. So what the hell do you do with Domonic Brown? Is he Darryl Strawberry, or the aforementioned Greg Golson? I am of the mind that his major league experience is far too small of a sample size to right the kid off as a bust. He still has all those “tools” that everyone was raving about before they started to hate him. A break in the hamate bone can sap power for up to a year in certain circumstances therefore Domonic should be fully recovered for this upcoming spring.
He certainly needs to learn how to catch the ball, but jettisoning a young, talented, cost controlled player seems a little rash to me. If you asked me to put on my general manager cap, I would hold onto Domonic, I still think the kid is going to be a good major league player. His plate presence alone should dictate that he should be retained. Everyone who has imagined trading him for a proverbial bag of balls must realize that no one one this team is young and very few of them have Brown’s plate discipline. Hopefully, with the lowered expectations, Brown’s year can get off to a better start then his last one did.