#1. Dominic Brown
Domonic Brown ranked as the No. 4 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America in 2011. He came just behind Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, and ahead of Aroldis Chapman, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakas. With this kind of company, one would think Brown should be a top-tier talent for the Phillies right now.
BA described Brown as a “future All-Star” before the 2011 season, and to their credit, they were right. He reached the All-Star Game in 2013 after hitting 23 home runs with an .856 OPS in the first half. For many fans at the time, Brown truly looked to be the future in the Phillies outfield.
However, it all fell apart from there. Brown suffered a concussion in the late July, playing just 38 games in the second half. He hit just four home runs in that span, with his slugging percentage falling from .535 in the first half to .390 in the second.
The 2014 season wasn’t any better for Brown, as his average fell to .235 and had a -1.7 WAR. In 2015, Brown started the year back in AAA Lehigh Valley as he recovered from injury, but he stayed there for the first few months of the season. He was unimpressive in 52 games there, holding a .303 wOBA.
Brown went back to the majors in June as the Phillies hit their worst span of 2015. Brown did little to help, batting just .228 and posting a 73 wRC+. It was clear Brown just wasn’t the same player who reached the All-Star Game two years earlier.
After 2015, the Phillies outrighted Brown off the 40-man roster, where he elected free agency rather than heading back to Lehigh Valley.
He signed with the Blue Jays to a minor-league deal in the offseason, and he hasn’t returned to the majors since.
Brown, one of the most highly touted Phillies prospects in the last decade, proved the hype surrounding him was too much. He had a mercurial rise and fall, decaying into baseball purgatory.
Teams will continue to sign Brown on the hope he returns to 2013 form, but in all likelihood he never will.