Not only has Domonic Brown been the Phillies' MVP of spring training, he's been a standout star around the majors this spring.
Ranked as Baseball America's fourth-best prospect in the minors entering the 2011 season, Brown has had high expectations for years. And for years, Brown had always underperformed and failed to exceed the expectations placed upon him.
In spring training before the 2011 season, Brown had a chance of claiming the starting right-field job, an opportunity which likely came too early for him. Nevertheless, Brown went 0-for-16 before a single off his hand broke his hitless streak, but also his hamate bone.
He sat out the rest of the spring, and while he got his chance in May, a lack of performance prompted the front office to acquire Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros.
The 2012 spring training was more of the same for Brown, as he lost the opportunity for a starting job to John Mayberry Jr. That project also failed, and as the Phillies ran out of options in addition to players following the trade deadline, Brown once again got his shot. He once again failed to leave a positive impression.
This year's spring training was unofficially Brown's last chance to earn a job with the Phillies, but for the first time, Brown capitalized on his opportunity. Per philly.com, assisting hitting coach Wally Joyner fixed Brown's hitting mechanics, lowering his hands and thus shortening his swing.
Subsequently, Brown's batted .376 with a .430 OBP, .671 SLG, 1.101 OPS, seven home runs, 17 RBI, and only one error in 28 games this spring. Simply put, he's been unstoppable.
According to phillies.com, however, Brown may be starting in left field as opposed to right field, where he's seen the most action this spring. Otherwise, Laynce Nix and John Mayberry Jr. will platoon in right field until Delmon Young returns from his ankle injury.
If Brown can translate even a portion of this success into the majors, he'll finally live up to the expectations placed on him and his prospect praise won't have gone in vain. Most importantly, though, he'll give the Phillies a young superstar in the making, something they would have otherwise lacked.