Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley wrote today of the Phillies optimum use of Domonic Brown: either give him 600 PA or trade him before he either loses his trade value or he becomes too expensive through the arbitration process. Brown, who has only 492 MLB PA, less than a full year’s worth, is entering his age 25 season with what appears to be the inside track on the starting right field job but is now suddenly surrounded by whispers of a double-platoon.
In Baer’s piece, he illustrates that Brown’s small Major League samples are about as statistically insignificant is you can get. For fun, and because his PA sample didn’t require me to do too much crazy math to find players with similar PAs, I looked at other players who were not initially shown a vote of confidence by Phillies management and Kevin Stocker, a pseudo-emergency call-up in 1993.
The graph above isn’t meant to indicate that Brown is or can be as good as Mike Schmidt, Chase Utley, or, heck, even Stocker. But it does help illustrate that for every Pat Burrell (good start with a steady career) there is a Ricky Jordan (terrific rookie year, barely above replacement level for the rest of it). Not everyone is going to hit the lights out right out of the gate like Burrell or Jimmy Rollins did, but it doesn’t mean they are chopped liver, either.
In full agreement with Baer, the Phillies need to, in Baer’s words, “[crap] or get off the pot” with Brown because he really has not had a true chance, whether it be because of injury (which is most of the reason) or because of lack of organizational faith. It goes without saying that Schmidt became among the greatest third basemen ever, Utley was among the top second basemen of the 2000′s, and Stocker, well, Stocker ended up with a .254/.338/.343 line in eight seasons, playing just above replacement level. The jury is rightfully still out on Brown.