You know, I wanted to be clever with my title and entitle my 1st entry What Can Brown Do For You. Well, I visited mlb.com, and it was already taken. I guess my creativity skills are lacking. I’ll tell you whose skills aren’t lacking, meet Domonic Brown. Brown is the most coveted Phillies prospect since Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Hamels debuted in 2006, Howard in 2004 and Utley in 2003.
So everyone knows his Major League debut by now. In his 1st Major League at-bat, he slugged a double off the top of the wall for his 1st RBI. In the 6th inning Brown showcased his speed by easily scoring on a Carlos Ruiz double from 1st. He finished the game 2-3 with 2 RBI’s and 2 R’s.
For my 1st blog entry for this site, I wanted to enshrine you with a little story about my 1st encounter with the promising prospect.
I reside in Yardley, Pa. I am 10 minutes away from Waterfront Park where the Trenton Thunder play (Double-A affiliate of the Yankees) Whenever the Reading Phillies come to town, my brother and I are there. The scheduling has to accommodate us. The games must occur during summer time as we both attended college. (I was at Temple, my brother Alex at Penn State) We took a glance at the schedule, and we circled August 11-13. There’s 2 players we wanted to see, Kyle Drabek and Domonic Brown. Unfortunately, Drabek wasn’t scheduled to start during the series. Our focus turned to Domonic Brown.
So we went to the August 12th confrontation between Reading and Trenton. There wasn’t any reasoning behind the date, but we did receive an Austin Jackson holographic picture. Vance Worley started for Reading. Worley recently just got called up to the Phillies for a cup of coffee. We sat down in our seats, about 5 rows up from the 3rd baseline. Thanks for the seats Jim ;).
Alex will always remember this game because he caught a foul ball. Early on in the game a towering pop-up came our way. We were like, holy goodness this ball is coming our way. Alex, like a shark jumped into the aisle to retrieve his prize. The scene reminded me of the childhood game 5,000. This is a game where you have a quarterback throwing to a crowd of about 5-10 people. The quarterback would shout numbers and whoever caught the ball would receive that amount. The 1st player to accumulate 5,000 points or more would win. In this instance, the Trenton batter called the number 5,000. Alex, in the crowd of about 6, used his frame to box out and snatch the ball after it bounced once off the coping. His foul ball catch was the worst thing that could’ve happened to me. I wanted to concentrate on the game and Brown, but after he caught that ball he suddenly jumped into an annoying bragging mode. His catch came in the 3rd inning, so for 6 innings I had to listen to his nonsense. I really wanted to put a muzzle on his face.
Anyway, let’s get back to Brown. The 1st thing everyone comments about Brown is his batting stance and frame. He holds his hands so far above his head. I always say, he’s young, let him do his thing. That’s something a batting coach can work with him as he gets older. Just like an ugly basketball shot like Peja Stojakovic’s, as long as it works don’t fix it. As for his build, he’s 6′5 200 lbs. He definetely needs to add a bit of muscle, but he generates so much torque with his hips he can knock it out of the park.
After the Trenton game, I came away so impressed with Domonic. I remember telling my brother that he was a future MVP in the Bigs. He batted 3rd that night. Even a year later, I remember this game so vividly.
Top of the 1st, 2 outs, Bases Empty- They say Brown is a five-tool player. He showcases a few of those tools in his 1st plate appearance. He turns on a fastball and laces a pee in the gap for a double. The other tool scouts rave about Brown is his base-running. Let me tell you first hand, this guy can gallop. He’s not slow. He possesses such long strides that he literally glides on the dirt. I swear, Domonic Brown can walk on water.
Top of the 3rd, 1 out, Men 1st and 2nd- Brown showcases his contact here. He takes a pitch the opposite way and lines it in front of the left-fielder. The base-runner from 2nd scores.
Top of the 5th, 1 out, Man on 1st- Brown grounds into a force out, but he avoids the double-play. He then shows a little more speed by stealing 2nd base.
Top of the 8th, 0 outs, Bases Empty- Leading off, Brown lines out to right. He makes good contact, but the ball hung in the air and into the glove of the right-fielder for the out.
Dominic Brown finished the game 2-4 with an RBI and a SB. He was by far the best player on the field that night. The Phillies lost the game 3-2, but I didn’t care. Alex got his foul ball, and I got my 1st blog entry. Last night’s MLB debut was 11 months in the making for me, and Brown did not dissapoint.