The time has come again as yet another phenom is set to introduce himself to the baseball world. Outfield super-prospect Domonic Brown will finally get his long awaited opportunity to shine in the City of Brotherly Love.
His promotion to the big club does not yet signal a changing of the guard, but rather a move necessitated by injury. Starting center fielder Shane Victorino landed on the 15-day DL earlier today with an abdominal strain.
Despite getting the call, the injury to Victorino could easily be viewed as detrimental for Brown. The trading of outfielder Jayson Werth is now a near impossibility, which in turn means Brown's major league stint is likely to be short-lived. When Victorino returns, the same trio of experienced outfielders will be blocking his path to regular at bats. Raul Ibanez has picked up the slack in July hitting .325 with 12 RBI, and despite hitting only .241 since June 1st, Shane Victorino and bench will never be synonymous.
But let's not overlook one all-important possibility: Domonic Brown blowing away the Phillies brass with his exceptional talent and dynamic play on the field. If he hits .400 with a couple of bombs, steals some bags and re-energizes the club, sending him back to Lehigh Valley sure won't be easy. GM Ruben Amaro would be put in an unenviable spot with that decision on his hands, and it’s not implausible to think he’ll have to face that decision head on.
Brown, the number one rated prospect according to Baseball America, was originally the 607th selection in the 20th round of the 2006 amateur draft. The Phillies took a flyer on Brown's raw potential, and are about to be rewarded beyond their wildest dreams back in '06. You reap what you sow, and the Phils earned it with great scouting work.
The definition of a tools player, Brown can impact the game and fantasy lineups, in a multitude of ways. He can hit for average, batting at least .291 in his last four minor league seasons. He's taken it up a notch in AAA, batting .346 in 28 games. He gets on base, having drawing 37 BB in 2010 for a .391 OBP. He can run, stealing 22 bases in '08, 23 in '09 and 17 thus far in '10. At 6'5", he continues to grow into his frame and develop his power stroke. Prior to this year his previous season high for HR was 14. Through 93 games in '10, he's hit 20. His previous season high for RBI was 64. He’s already knocked in 68 runs in ‘10.
Dynasty league owners know that the “Total Package” has long since been stashed away. But Brown is still available in a decent number of straight keeper leagues, and owned in less than 50 percent of re-draft leagues. While his major league timetable in 2010 is a relative unknown, the risk is certainly worth the reward. Worst case scenario: two weeks of an ultra-talented player in a loaded lineup. Best case scenario: he tears the cover off the ball and forces the Phillies hand. While the latter is an unlikely outcome, when talking about a skilled athlete like Brown, nothing is out of the question.
Will Brown stay after Victorino returns?
Update: Brown went 2-3, with 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs in his debut.
Written by Adam Ganeles exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. Adam writes like most people breathe... effortlessly. The Fantasy Fix salutes him!
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