Domonic Brown is 23-years-old, stands 6’5″, 205 pounds, and is a potential superstar. He is so important to the Phillies that he wasn’t a part of the Hunter Pence trade, and, quite possibly, never would be a part of a deal. He is hitting .246/.335/.393 in 183 at bats in Philadelphia, playing semi-regulary, as he has been sharing time with Ben Francisco in right for the Phillies. Now, Hunter Pence is in right, Francisco is the 4th outfielder, and John Mayberry, Jr. hangs around as the 5th outfielder. There just isn’t room with Raul Ibanez and his 39-year-old-type-of-production taking up a roster spot.
Don’t get me wrong, Ibanez is a good player, though his .247/.293/.419 is a far cry from his .281/.343/.473, but he shouldn’t be blocking someone who could be more productive. Ibanez’s 74/24 K/BB doesn’t match Brown’s 34/25 K/BB, and his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is -1.2…NEGATIVE ONE POINT TWO. He has cost the Phillies 1.2 wins compared to an average replacement. Brown’s WAR is just 0.2, but he wasn’t costing the Phillies anything by having him there. With Howard, Ibanez, Rollins and Utley getting older each year, the Phillies need to get Brown some experience and really see what they have.
Brown will be 24 in September. He has nothing left to prove in the Minors, especially after hitting .327/.391/.589 with 22 doubles, 20 homers and 17 steals in just 93 games in Triple-A last season. The Phillies have had success, winning a World Series, losing another, and getting several key pieces in trades, acquiring not only Pence, but Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay, in the last couple of seasons. They signed Cliff Lee, they extended Ryan Howard, and they are developing mediocre talent to sell high, like J.A. Happ (who hasn’t done anything close for the Astros) and now Vance Worley. They let Jayson Werth walk instead of overpaying him like Washington did. They let Werth walk because they had Brown. Now they are blocking him again. If they want to do the right thing, they need to start Brown and make Ibanez a part-time player.
Domonic Brown has offensive superstar potential. He can get on base, hit for power, and run. He is a left-handed hitter, as are Utley, Ibanez, and Howard. The only thing that has held Brown back is that. He needs to be in left. The Phillies won’t win a World Series with Raul Ibanez in left this season. For all of the right moves Ruben Amaro, Jr. has made as GM, continuing the up and down with Brown isn’t one of them. Get the kid up, put him in the lineup, let him shine.