Within the course of a summer, many stars experience peaks and valleys; however, Domonic Brown of the Philadelphia Phillies had a May dwarfing every teammate’s best month. Was this a glimpse of tomorrow?
Please, scroll down for this edition of Nitecap Insight: The Final Trade Chip.
This article represents the thinking of a baseball man in my opinion. Reading people is the answer to their decisions: past, present and future.
There will be a published storyline each week.
The Final Trade Chip:
While many fans complain about the studs that went to Cleveland, Toronto and Houston, they don’t appreciate the keeper.
Prospects reach their ceiling along the path from rookie ball or a short-season league to the show. Calculating that only one of six reaches his hoped-for destination, this establishes a pattern. Therefore, three Double-A players can realize their limits at three different levels: one in Double-A Reading, the second at Triple-A Lehigh Valley or the third successfully in Philly. This trend becomes very visible during their journey’s second half.
For instance, the Phils released Sebastian Valle, no team claimed him, and the organization temporarily reassigned him to Lehigh Valley. That stated, the Reading catcher did not impress anyone with a .203 average, 12 homers and 41 RBI. In, for example, the head honcho’s proposal for Roy Halladay (2009’s offseason), Michael Taylor was the so-called toss-up candidate with Brown. Last year, Taylor hit .281 with 18 long balls and 85 RBI for Triple-A Sacramento, but he has not put up those numbers in the majors.
Minor League Progression:
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According to Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports’ Hardball Talk, Brown was the trade bait for a starting pitcher. For my taste, the writer provided a harsh appraisal: He cited hideous glove work, which he claimed with stats and the eye test. However, concentrating only on mistakes, he ignored the acceptable fielding strides with the switch of corner positions.
Long after fans had witnessed a whirlwind May, they thought one big month hid a disappointing reality. However, the comparison between ’12 and ’13 is dramatic. Remember, February’s expectations were low and many ticketed Brown for Lehigh Valley.
After a magnificent beginning to spring training, Brown finished at .356 with seven home runs and 17 RBI. He cooled down near camp’s end, and that downward trajectory continued through April. Naturally, the fan base vocalized about meaningless March stats, and they said this was the real Brown.
Changing minds after April ended, the left fielder caught fire and All-Star talk went viral. However, many misinterpreted his May production because of that final week, where he blasted six homers with nine RBI. He averaged .348 during that stretch and hit .291 otherwise. For the first 21 days, however, he stroked six long balls and 21 RBI. Even without that six-day burst creating a false impression, his May was excellent.
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From June through September, Brown batted .272 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI. That said, projecting those four months to a full tour, his statistics would be .272, 18 homers and 71 RBI. Those numbers are solid for the lineup’s six hole and provide protection for Marlon Byrd.
As a left field defender, Brown improved on his prior opposite-corner adventures and will make more strides in 2014. Also, Pouliot didn’t mention his cannon-like arm either. For clarity, does anyone remember these regulars: Greg Luzinski, Pat Burrell and Raul Ibanez?
With a full 162 and his first All-Star appearance on his resume, Brown will increase his production. He will draw on his 2013 experience and be more comfortable in the six slot.
On the high side, he could reach .285, 30 long balls and 100 RBI.
Domonic Brown: Traded Prospects
2 = Cleveland & Toronto 3 = Houston
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez: Scouting Report
BJ Rosenberg & Jake Diekman:
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