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Brown’s Confidence Soaring Going into Regular Season

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, March 21, 2013 06:05 PM | Comments: 34
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

We could see this a lot in 2013. (AP)

We could see this a lot in 2013. (AP)

The man has certainly earned it. Domonic Brown has done more than enough to secure a starting spot in the Phillies outfield when they break camp and head to Atlanta on April 1. Not only has he flirted with .400 this spring, but his confidence might be at an all-time high.

“In my mind I don’t feel like a pitcher can have enough stuff to get me out,” Brown told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. “Even if they’re throwing 100 mph, I feel I can turn it around.”

If you don’t love those words from Brown then you have no soul. OK, maybe I shouldn’t go that far, however, if you aren’t impressed by everything pertaining to Brown this spring, then you must be part of the group that keeps spouting, “it’s only spring, it doesn’t mean anything.”

That rationale would normally hold some credence, but not now, not with Brown. We’ve been waiting to see this sort of play out of the former #1 overall player in the organization. So, if you’re not happy with what you’re seeing and hearing, you’ve given up on him. Many haven’t, myself included.

It’s clear Brown has lowered his hands and is swinging with authority. Not to mention, this is Brown’s first full Spring Training. In prior springs, he was either injured or wasn’t really part of the plans of the team going into the regular season. This year, Brown knew there is a starting spot staring at him, which he has all but secured.

Dom’s Away™.

 

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Joe Kane

    Pat,

    You say that Brown has lowered his hands and that has certainly had an effect on his hitting with increased bat speed. How did he come to this conclusion? Did he experiment on his own, or has one, or both of the new hitting coaches had an effect on him with his hand placement?

     
  • Posts: 0 mary pat

    Haven’t they said that Joyner’s been spending a TON of time with him? Finally, some decent coaching for the kid!

     
    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      That’s partially true. The catchiness of Wally baing a noted Angel player during his peak years converted to an attention grabbing headline of Brown working with an angel, or whatev er the exact words were. Elaborating was an amendment where Brown also gave Steve Henderson a lot of credit.

       
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Confidence — a critical ingredient for baseball success. I hope Brown continues to have this vital ingredient in abundance.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    “If you don’t love those words from Brown then you have no soul.”

    Shoulda ended the paragraph there, Pat. No need to back off it.

     
  • Posts: 0 Betasigmadeltashag

    I have to admit I had a hard time buying into the Dom Hype, in the past few years he seemed to be adverse to changing his batting style. But this spring he has shown signs of being coachable. Plus his defense though not stellar has shown signs of improvement. I don’t take numbers to be all that important in ST more attitude and effort. Dom has shown signs this could be a breakout season for him. If he can be a 280-300 hitter with 18-25 HRs and Rever can get on base and hit around .300 I think you can live with Nix and JMJ in the other corner and see what D. Young can give you when healthy and have a better offensive outfield then in the past. And when Nix starts you can put JMJ in defensively at end of games and for that matter for D. Young if he gets time out there

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Brown hasn’t lit the world on fire so far in the regular season, but it’s good to keep in mind he’s only 25, and he’s been a better major league hitter through age 24 than any current or recent Phillie (wRC+ with 150+ PAs), with the lone exception of Delmon.

      Young has gone downhill in the two years since his age 24 season (and Brown has hit better than him over those last two years), but if Dom improves after age 24 like we typically expect players to do, he should be a pretty good hitter.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        wRC+ through age 24 (100=league average):

        D.Young 100, Brown 90, Rollins 87, Utley 86, Polanco 82, Revere 78, M.Young (76), Nix (74), Galvis (64)

         
  • Posts: 0 glutenous

    This could finally be Downtown Dom Brown’s breakout year at the plate, and it is one of the hinges the success of this years squad hangs on. He will get better in the field with time as well. Hopefully he becomes the player many thought he would a couple years back. Better to show up late to the party than never. I’ve got confidence in the dude to now he needs to go get it done and silence the nay-sayers.

     
  • Posts: 0 Eddie J

    Wish I could read the article on the app, but the constant video playing has rendered it unusable. Too bad – used to be a good app.

     
  • Posts: 555 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    I do wish Dominic Brown all the success in the world for this season. This leads to a question. Will Charlie Manuel in his final roster cuts decide to send Darin Ruf to Lehigh Valley (AAA) ? I can’t see Ruf sitting on the Phillies’ bench collecting cobwebs when he needs at bats and to play LF for more development and progress.

    As I see it … with Brown’s continued success in ST games, Ruf’s fate is already decided.

     
    • Posts: 0 G7

      As i see it, yes..he will probably get sent down..Ruf didnt earn a starting spot this spring and i was hoping to see Brown in RF and Ruf in LF..maybe in 2nd half.

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    I am rooting for Dom Brown. Can we nickname him “Downtown” Dominic Brown, yet? Ollie Brown didn’t hit that many homers. Neither did Frank “Home Run” Baker. If Brown can keep his hands low, IF, than he should be able to hit. When players slump they tend to go back to what they know and I don’t wanna see Dom’s hand steadily start to go up through April. He’s got the talent and he’s got some plate discipline. I think Dom going 17/70/.285, with Mayberry and Nix in right, is a nice way to fill the corner positions. But then again, Dom has to play D. Just tell him to shade over to the line and play back so Revere can cover part of left center. Go Phils.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave Lerch

    I’m one of those who has given up on him. We’ve seen flashes of potential and upside before from him only to be left down by his inability to sustain anything but mediocrity. I’m hopeful he can play at a major league level, because the Phils don’t have much if any options at this point. I believe he has had more than enough opportunities to show what he can do and hasn’t earned anything by his play up until recently. I wish he would sustain this level of play going forward, but I don’t see him as a regular everyday dependable major league player.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      492 plate appearances scattered over 2+ years is not nearly enough of a sample to know what he can do.

      And again, he’s been a better major league hitter through age 24 than any current Phillie (Rollins, Utley, M.Young, etc.), with the exception of D.Young. And he’s hit better than D.Young the last two years.

       
      • Posts: 0 brooks

        You know Schmenkman, I remember you and I having a discussion about this very game. Your interpretation was that he had a pretty good game (2 for 5) and mine was that he left a ton of people on base.
        The Phils wound up winning that game, I believe Mayberry knocked in the winning run in the 10th (another rarity).

         
    • Posts: 0 brooks

      Dave, I understand your sentiments to a tee. For the last three years my friend and I have been sitting in RF, watching as time after time the tables were set for him offensively and he would fail to deliver. Not just occasionally, but very rarely did he deliver with men on base. For all those advocating his ‘new found’ stance, or where he places his hands – how about the times when he would hit the solo shots or the doubles with nobody on?

      To me a 2 for 5 performance doesn’t look bad but when putting in context of the game – where he hit into 3 double plays (2 that were inning ending), it sucks.

      This point has to be drilled, its in the head – and today he is exuding confidence plus.

      Just cannot deny what we are seeing now, regardless that it is still spring training – we have never seen before on this level. And, given his accomplishments in the minors – the hope is still there, perhaps a glimmer only but what a plus if this guy could live up to even 1/2 the hype.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Perceptions are a funny thing. Facts are even funnier:

        - he’s never hit into 2 DPs in one game
        - 9 total DPs in 492 plate appearances is actually a slightly better than average rate
        - he has a higher average with men in scoring position (.252) than with the bases empty

        No drilling is necessary, thankfully.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        (never hit into 3 double plays in a game, either, if that wasn’t clear)

         
      • Posts: 0 brooks

        Correction – looks like the only 2 for 5 performance D Brown had last year (and I am quite certain this was last year) was on 9/11.
        He did have 2 singles and an rbi, hit into a inning ending DP (with the bases loaded), struck out with the bases loaded then struck out again.
        The only part I got right is that it was a Phils win : |

         
      • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

        Last year, in 212 at bats, Brown drove in 26 runs. He batted with 141 runners on base. 72 of those runners were on first base. So he drove in about a third of the runners in scoring position.

        He batted 10 times with ther bases loaded, hitting no home runs in those circumstances.

        He was 15-47 with men in scoring position. That’s .319. He hit .184 in about 100 at bats with the bases empty.

        He had about 7 or 8 multiple hit games.

        The Phils were 30-21 in games he started.

        He was hitting .253 as late as September 20.

        .

         
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Since we’re talking about Dom Brown, I wouldn’t mind if charlie tried him in the two hole. He’s a lefty and he can look at pitches. Forcing him to look at pitches would be good for a young hitter I would think. He can use the hole on the right side and it allows for a 3-4-5 of Utley/Ryan/Young. I think irs important that the righty hits in back of Ryan. It could keep right handed pitchers in the game longer for Howard. And Brown can run a little. Comments?

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      Mike Young doesn’t jump out as protection for RyHo to the tune of planning a lineup around him, but nor is he that bad an idea.

      Still have 3 lefties in a ro\w with DB 2nd, of course.

      If we’re fortunate enough to see Dom’s trip take him down to Fulfillment of Potential Road, he can hit anywhere in the lineup offering selectivity, and decent speed and power (frequency, not distance relative to decent).

      The idea’s not bad. But what would really be nice would be if D Young winds up offering some firepower, then you really have a lineup to play with.

      I’d say keep Brownie 5 for now. Let’s see where he is when Chooch gets back, which might coincide with seeing where Delmon Young is. I assume Young will get a shot. The Mayberry/Nix platoon isn’t terrible, and who knows what Ruf’s year is destined to be.

       
  • Posts: 5391 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    @Dipsy, I don’t care for 3 lefty’s in a row in any situation, but since it looks like a real possibility anyway, your idea isn’t bad at all.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Friday chat with Mike Newman @ Fangraphs

    12:20

    Comment From zack
    Domonic Brown has been having a pretty good spring. Will the Phillies finally give him a shot or will they do something stupid and play Delmon Young everyday instead?

    12:21

    Mike Newman:
    There’s really no reason to not give him a shot. Even if they just wanted to flip him, the Phillies

    need to build his value back up. He may be the most mismanaged top prospect in recent memory from my POV.

    Secondly…

    12:11

    Comment From Doug
    Who are a couple of your favortie super deep prospects (like 150-200) who could jump into the 100s by the end of the year?

    12:12

    Mike Newman:
    Domingo Tapia and Roman Quinn.

     
    • Posts: 0 R.C. Collins

      I thought the preferred plan was always to have both Brown and Delmon Young at the corners?

      If by “mismanaged”, Newman means that Brown has seemingly always been nursing some sort of nagging injury over the past few years, then I’d agree. This “lowering of the hands” advice has been out there for several years as well, and Brown has pretty much resisted making a change. Has Joyner finally gotten through to Domonic? Possibly. We’ll find out soon enough.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Would be interested in seeing any published reports of Brown resisting change. I don’t remember anything like that. In fact my impression has been that they’ve fiddled with his swing and stance too much, not too little.

         
      • Posts: 5391 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Schmenkman, He did resist but IMO for good reason. As far as published reports, this one does a nice job explaining the resistance and the reasons.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-dramatic-decline-of-domonic-brown/

         
      • Posts: 5391 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        In simplest terms you are both right.

         
      • Posts: 0 R.C. Collins

        http://articles.philly.com/2011-03-11/sports/28680466_1_swing-phillies-notebook-hand

        “Before the game, Brown decided to return to the stance he had used throughout his career, with the bat handle dangling high above his head instead of down near his shoulder, where he had kept it throughout the spring.

        “I just said forget it,” Brown said. “I’m going to go back to what got me here. I got my hands back up, was feeling comfortable, got the hit, but obviously I was in a lot of pain. Things happen. That’s part of the game.”

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Resisting, at least in my mind, is far, far different than trying something and finding out it doesn’t work. Too many people seem to think Brown has been impossible to work with when he’s actually been attempting to do what the coaches want, sometiimes even if it louses him up for a while. He DID try to lower his hands, which indicates to me that he does, indeed listen.

         
      • Posts: 0 R.C. Collins

        Nobody said he “was impossible to work with”. Pat’s original post states that “It’s clear Brown has lowered his hands and is swinging with authority.” The lowering of the hands is not a new concept just presented to Brown – he’s heard it in the past. He was offered this advice a few years ago, tried it for a few weeks, and then went back to his old stance. Coincidentally (or not), that advice from two years ago is exactly the same advice he received this spring. Maybe he clicks with Joyner. Maybe he realizes that he’s running out of opportunities. Maybe he’s finally healthy. We’ll find out more as the season progresses.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Maybe I should have said many people have “implied” that Brown is impossible to work with. “Seem to think” should be sufficient, though, because it doesn’t actually quote anybody.
        Sometimes people don’t say what they mean right out loud anyway, so one has to infer certain things, which is what I’ve done with many comments I’ve read in the past that he’s “uncoachable,” that he “refuses to learn” etc. Maybe I don’t remember the exact words, but I firmly believe the sentiment has been there among many, many fans, and Brown is still perceived somewhat unfairly by some because of that sentiment.

         
 
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