Domonic Brown has arrived in Clearwater and wants everyone to know one thing.
He’s ready to actually be a productive baseball player.
Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, Brown said he wants the opportunity to really show what he can do.
“If I get four, five hundred at bats,” said Brown, flashing a UPS tattoo on his arm, “I think I can show what I’m really capable of doing.”
The Phils would love to “see what Brown can do for them,” but so far in his career, Brown hasn’t done much to inspire a lot of confidence.
One of the reasons Jayson Werth was cut loose before the 2011 season was because everyone assumed Brown would step in and become the everyday right fielder. The Phillies were giving him his shot. But an injury to his hand in spring training derailed his ascendancy, and when he was finally called up, a slow start pressed the team to trade for Hunter Pence.
Brown has since had a hard time staying on the field and, even when on the field, has not been all that impressive, whether it be in Lehigh Valley or in Philadelphia.
Still, Brown believes he can be a productive player for the Phils, if given the opportunity.
“You know what, I’ve been waiting for that for a long time,” Brown said. “When I get that opportunity, when they give me that sink or swim opportunity like they did last year at the end of the year, see what I’m capable of for four, five hundred at bats, then if I fail…”
Reporters there in Clearwater note Brown didn’t really finish the thought, but the implication was clear. Brown knows this is his last chance, and he’s hoping Ruben Amaro and Charlie Manuel allow him the chance to fully realize his potential.
To be fair, Brown has been jerked around a bit. He’s never received more than the 212 plate appearances he got last year in a single Major League season, and has accumulated only 492 plate appearances for his career, spread out over three seasons.
And while he hasn’t done much offensively in that time (.236/.315/.388, with 12 HRs and 24 doubles) and has proven to be a below-average defender, his tools and youth make giving him one more chance the smart play.
Still, even if the overweight and utterly useless Delmon Young is sucking up much of the playing time that should go to Brown, Dom says he’ll be a team player.
“Whatever I need to do to help the team, I’m willing to do.”
Regardless, 2013 is likely Dom Brown’s last chance to be a productive Major League player with the Phillies.
He needs to stay healthy and actually start putting up some numbers.
Hopefully Amaro and Manuel gives the former #4 overall prospect in baseball a chance to succeed.
And hopefully, Brown “will show what he can do for you.”