UPDATE, 5:15 pm: ESPN.com’s Buster Olney just tweeted that a source tells him the Phillies have no intention of putting Domonic Brown up for sale.
The saga continues.
UPDATE, 4:30 pm: Michael Baumann did a little research today on how prospects pan out in the majors, here is a look:
Proof that the Baseball America people know what they’re talking about (Click on the year to see that seasons full list of top prospects):
Top 10 2005: 8 major league regulars (Mauer, Felix Hernandez, Delmon Young, Ian Stewart, Kotchman, Kazmir, Rickie Weeks, Hanley Ramirez), 1 MVP, 1 Cy Young, 4 batting titles. Other notables: Matt Cain (13), Prince Fielder (15), Chad Billingsley (19), Jeff Niemann (20), Carlos Quentin (22), Nick Swisher (24)
Top 10 2006: 7 ML regulars (Young, Justin Upton, Stephen Drew, Liriano, Billingsley,Verlander, Matt Cain) Other notables: Fielder (11), Howie Kendrick (12), Alex Gordon (13), Ryan Zimmerman (15), Quentin (20), Markakis (21), Jon Lester (22), Chris Young the outfielder (23) and Tulo (25)
Top 10 2007: 7 regulars (Dice-K, Gordon, Young, Hughes, Cam Maybin, Longoria, Justin Upton). Lincecum at 11, Andrew McCutchen at 13, Bruce at 14, Tulo at 15, Gallardo 16, Carlos Gonzalez 18, Matt Garza 21, Clayton Kershaw 24, Billy Butler 25, Ryan Braun 26
Top 10 2008: 9 ML Regulars (Bruce, Longoria, Joba, Clay Buchholz, Rasmus, Maybin, Kershaw, Franklin Morales, David Price). Others: Wieters (12), Ellsbury (13), McCutchen (14), Wade Davis (17), Mike Moustakas (18), Elvis Andrus (19).
The point of this exercise is that the guys on these lists tend to turn into solid major leaugers, and the percentage of success rises the higher up you go. Some of the guys on these Top 25 lists don’t pan out. Andy Marte, Andy LaRoche, Fernando Martinez, Brandon Wood, and Homer Bailey all showed up more than once, it it’s not an exact science. Others, like Kazmir and Delmon Young, can flame out quickly. But if the experts say someone is a top-10 prospect, 4 out of 5 times, those prospects turn into good major leaguers (which is comforting, because they’re the goddamn experts), and more often than not, they grow into superstars.
1:43 pm, Friday: Wow. It looks like the Phillies are doing their best to trade Dom Brown. That’s what Jayson Stark of ESPN.com is saying.
…That leaves the Phillies, who have made Pence far and away their No. 1 target. But because the Phillies and Astros haven’t been able to agree on players beyond the Phillies’ initial offer, other clubs reported Friday they’re now exploring potential three-team deals to put the pieces together.
The reason for that is this: The Phillies initially offered their two best prospects, pitcher Jarred Cosart and first baseman Jonathan Singleton, and were told that wasn’t enough. The Phillies then offered to include their right fielder, Domonic Brown. But the Astros, according to one team that spoke with them, would prefer to spin Brown elsewhere for multiple prospects than take him themselves.
So the Astros don’t even like Brown and want to move him immediately for other prospects. That, plus the fact that the Phillies will also be giving up their two top organizational prospects for Pence.
My take: Hunter Pence assures you NOTHING. To pillage the farm system AND give up Domonic Brown for a good, but not great, player is mind-boggling to me. We’ve seen Domonic Brown for 88 games and 240 at-bats in his major league career. He was once named the top prospect in all of baseball. He’s showing great plate discipline. He’s also having a tough time in the field, which can change with seasoning.
And people want to send him out to pasture for a guy who has peaked at .280-ish, 25 homers, and 80 RBI. Hunter Pence is a good player – I’ll say it again – and I have nothing against the guy personally. He could be a great person, and he might be a joy to cover if he does come to Philly, but what we know is he isn’t a great ballplayer. That is WAY too much to offer for a guy who isn’t a great defender and doesn’t do any one thing great.
You cannot call Domonic Brown “untouchable” when it came to trading for Roy Halladay (Cy Young 2x), Cliff Lee (Cy Young 1x), and Roy Oswalt (NLCS MVP) and then deal him for a Top 15 outfielder in MLB. In my opinion, you can’t.