Ranked fourth on Baseball America’s latest Top 100 Prospects list, Brown is fighting to become Philadelphia’s starting right fielder on Opening Day.
Analysis: A hidden gem not selected until the 20th round in 2006, the 23-year old Brown has rapidly ascended through the Phillies system over the last few years, making his Major League debut this past summer. The youngster scuffled a bit over 35 games in the bigs, to the tune of .210/.257/.355 in 70 plate appearances. During this cup of coffee, however, Brown displayed flashes of brilliance including an RBI double in his first at-bat. A true five-tool player, Domonic’s potential emergence has softened the blow of losing Jayson Werth to free agency. Currently in competition with both John Mayberry Jr. and Ben Francisco for the starting right field job, Brown appears to have the upper hand in manager Charlie Manuel’s eyes. Although Manuel has stated that the position if “up for grabs” he plans to play the phenom a lot this spring, getting him as many at-bats as possible. This stance says a lot about the team’s immediate plans for Brown, and they are giving him every chance possible to work his way onto that April 1st lineup card.
Projection: Unless he has a terrible showing in the Grapefruit League, expect to see Brown patrolling right field at Citizens Bank Park when that first pitch is thrown against the Astros. The Philly brass wants him there, and so does young Domonic who seems to have the right mindset about winning the job. Surrounded by a monster (albeit lefty heavy) lineup, Brown should thrive in the cozy confines of the Phillies home park. Look for something in the .280/.350/.490 area over a full season, with 20-25 stolen bases to boot.