Domonic Brown: 5 Reasons It's Time to Call Up Phillies Young Slugger
The Philadelphia Phillies arrived back home after a lengthy West Coast trip, but they seemingly left their hot bats in Arizona. The Phillies were again ineffective at the plate for Roy Halladay and were unable to improve their record to .500 for the first time this season.
Where do the Phillies turn to for offense? It's pretty apparent that all of Phillies Nation has given up on the idea of small ball and Charlie Manuel ever coexisting, but this is not the same lineup that just two years ago had four guys capable of 30-plus HR.
Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Co. are proven MLB players, and it was argued all offseason that these players would have difficulty changing their approach at the plate. Well, it again seems like the fans were smarter than the GM and manager and that has been proven accurate thus far.
With a struggling offense and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard still mending (for the foreseeable future), it's time to see what the player who was once thought of as "untouchable" can do at the MLB level.
Here are five reasons why the Phillies need to call up Domonic Brown.
A Little Perspective
The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs have started Domonic Brown 20 times this season. The Philadelphia Phillies have four players who have played 20 games and a total of nine who have appeared in at least 17 games.
Only one player (Juan Pierre, believe it or not, with 21) has more hits than Brown's 20. Brown is averaging a hit per game (albeit with a Triple-A club) and has more extra base hits (seven) than any Philadelphia Phillie.
Also, Brown's 11 RBI would tie him with Hunter Pence for the team lead. He may only have a .267 average at the moment, but he's driving the ball with RISP (.444 average).
Not to mention he's absolutely crushing left-handed pitching at a .385 clip.
MAYBErry He's Coming Down to Earth
I will premise this slide by saying that I've had the privilege of meeting John Mayberry on two seperate occasions, and he is genuinely a guy that I cheer for. He broke out in 2011 with 15 HR and 49 RBI and showed the power and plate discipline that made him a coveted prospect by the Phillies.
While most of his production was against left-handed pitching, Mayberry has been given every opportunity to be "the guy" in LF for the Phightins. To this point, he has been downright dreadful at the plate.
We knew he struggled against right-handed pitching, but a .167 average in 24 ABs with no extra base hits is unacceptable.
Brown has been able to hit right-handed pitching at every level and would instantly provide pop from the left side of the plate. If Mayberry can go back to being a platoon player (.273 against lefties) then he can once again be a serviceable player in the City of Brotherly Love.
Not only will Brown help this anemic offense against left-handed pitching, but it also will ensure that Mayberry is being used in a way that will help this team be successful.
Let's See What We Got Here
Phillies Nation has been called by a top-10 pitcher in the game, Cliff Lee, some of the "smartest fans in baseball." Philadelphia knows that Brown must be a pretty special talent as the team was unwilling to package him in any deal the past three years.
Even when those deals included the likes of Halladay, Lee, Pence and Roy Oswalt.
Brown is a legitimate five-tool prospect that was Baseball America's top prospect for two years. He's lost a ton of confidence since then, but do we really expect Pierre to keep finding seeing-eye singles all season?
Inserting Brown into a lineup that is lacking extra-base potential would not only re-energize the lineup, but it also would re-energize the city.
A city that is getting plenty disgusted (and discouraged) with this team's futile offense.
Potential for Potency
As mentioned previously, Brown is hitting left-handed pitching at a .385 rate thus far in Lehigh Valley. It has been crammed down our throats on numerous occasions that Pierre is a lifetime .300 hitter against lefties.
Well, the old man is hitting just .188 against left-handers and a ridiculous .383 against right-handed pitching. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you where Pierre will be most effective at this point in his career.
Brown has shown that he has learned to keep his shoulder in against left-handed pitching, a great sign because he's always been able to hit righties.
If Brown could provide some pop against lefty pitching, that would give this offense a huge boost. Pence, Pierre, Rollins and Placido Polance are all hitting .200 or worse against lefties.
Brown has always been a player that has hit for power against righties, and if history tells us anything than that will continue.
The fact that Brown has gotten ABs against lefties and is driving the ball against them may mean he is turning the corner.
Can't Be Any Worse
As of April 28, 2012, the Philadelphia Phillies boast a line of .253/.292/.355 after 20 games. In 684 PA, they have just 42 extra base hits.
An absolutely mind-boggling statistic.
Nearly 20 percent of their outs have been by strikeout, which is not uncommon for the Phillies, but it is troubling when there's no power numbers to back it up.
How many more times can the Phillies trot out a lineup that produces zero runs? The Phillies have scored three or fewer runs in 12 of their first 20 games.
They have scored just 19 runs in 10 losses as of Saturday. Even Doc, King Cole, his Cliffness and the Vanimal can't consistently win with that run production.
The fact that this team is still afloat is incredible and proves how terrific this pitching really is. There is room for optimism as the addition of Utley and Howard can only help at this point.
Can't we say the same for Brown at this point? Let's at least find out what we have with this kid.
It can't be any worse, right?