Player Review/Preview: Dom Brown
Image Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Key 2013 Stats: .272 AVG/.324 OBP/.494 SLG/27 HR/83 RBI
What happened in 2013:
Brown’s season was similar to the movie Wedding Crashers: The first half was immensely enjoyable and got everyone really excited, but the second half was a huge letdown. Taken as a whole, I’d consider it to be a success, but I can’t help thinking that it could have been much better.
Brown had once been considered the Phillies top prospect, and at one point ESPN even rated him as the top prospect in all of baseball. But during stints with the big league team over the past three seasons, Brown hadn’t quite met those expectations. Part of the problem was that the Phillies didn’t seem able to fully commit to him (Somewhat understandable since they were angling for the playoffs in two of those seasons). Part of the problem was that Brown suffered a variety of injuries and couldn’t stay on the field. And part of the problem was that Brown’s production simply didn’t match the hype. As a result, when the 2013 season began, many people considered Brown to be a bust.
Image Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brown’s play finally began to match the hype in 2013. At the end of May, he went on an insane tear, hitting 11 home runs in 14 games. It was obvious that he couldn’t sustain that pace, but he did finish the first half with 23 homers which earned him a spot on the National League All-Star team.
Unfortunately, an old nemesis popped back up in the second half: Injuries. Brown suffered from multiple ailments in the second half and only played 44 games. His absence and the drop off in his power production (Only four second half homers) were big reasons why the Phillies stumbled so badly in the second half.
What to Expect in 2014:
Is Brown the superstar that he appeared to be in the first half? Or did the second half reveal the reality: Brown is a fragile player who will never reach the heights that the team once projected for him? If the Phillies want to rebound in 2014, they have to hope that the truth lies closer to the former. With a lot of question marks around him, the Phillies need Brown to be a legitimate threat in the middle of the lineup.
One thing I’d like to see from Brown is increased patience at the plate. He was regarded as having a good eye in the minors, but there were many times when he appeared to get himself out by chasing pitches. Hopefully, this will improve as he gains more experience. I’d also like to see him avoid Tweeting his support for the Dallas Cowboys, because that didn’t go over so well with many Phillies fans.
My prediction is that Brown spends another stint on the disabled list in 2014, and while his power numbers may decrease a bit (20-25 homers seems realistic), he’ll compensate with a higher average and on-base percentage.