Phillies Nation Player Review: Domonic Brown

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Mon, November 25, 2013 12:00 PM | Comments: 10
2013 Player Reviews

It’s certainly tough to look at Domonic Brown‘s season as a whole and make any kind of universal judgement about how he did. At times he was the most prolific home run hitter in the National League, and at other times he looked lost. Of course, some of his lack of production later on was the result of a concussion and having to miss time, but it nonetheless led to one of the most lopsided seasons in recent memory.

During the early part of the season, it looked as if Brown was to continue on the trajectory that he had been on the previous few years. His average was down, and his power way down. After a month of play, he had recorded a slash line of just .233/.309/.372-dismal by any standard. His power was non-existent. He clubbed three home runs and had only three doubles. Those were the only three extra base hits of the month for him.

When the calendar turned, it was like a switch went off.

Domonic Brown clubbed 23 home runs and drove in 67 by the All-Star Break, but a concussion and some drop in performance left his second half one to be forgotten.

Domonic Brown clubbed 23 home runs and drove in 67 by the All-Star Break, but a concussion and some drop in performance left his second half one to be forgotten.

Six games into May, Brown had already doubled his home run total from the first 30 days of the season, and the long balls kept coming. Twelve of them in the month alone, and 25 RBI and a .303 average (along with 0 walks, figure that one out). One other player in baseball (Miguel Cabrera) had 12 home runs in the month of May, and only two others besides him (Justin Upton and Chris Davis) has 12 in any calendar month the entire season. No other National leaguer had as many RBI as Brown in the month either.

He topped it of with eight homers and 16 RBI in the final 11 games of the month alone, bringing him back to back N.L. Player of the Week honors, and eventually an N.L. Player of the Month award. A slugger had finally emerged.

He kept his torrid pace into June, assaulting opposing pitching with four round trippers and 11 RBI in the first eight days of the month. By then, he was consistently hovering around the league lead in home runs, and was almost a shoo-in for the All-Star team. He toiled a little bit to finish the month, but still recorded six homers and drove in over 20 for what would be his second extremely productive month in a row.

Then just like that, it disappeared. Brown was selected to play in the All-Star game for the N.L., but by then his numbers had taken a major hit. After hitting just .257 with three homers through the first three weeks of the month, Brown caught the injury plague that has plagued the Phillies for several seasons now. In a game against St. Louis in July 23, Brown dove for a ball in the outfield and slammed his head against the ground. The result was a concussion, which put him on the seven day minimum concussion DL the next day. He stayed there for two weeks, and when he returned he was not the same.

His home run on Aug. 14 against Atlanta would be his last of the season. After that, 91 at bats and not one resulted in a homer. He finished the season with a .272 average, 27 home runs and 83 RBI. At the All-Star Break, he had been at .273, 23 and 67. Just four home runs and 16 RBI in the second half.

Whether the extreme drop in production stemmed from not being 100 percent is unclear. It certainly had some effect, whether directly physical or just by throwing him off by not playing for two weeks. Either way, it was one of the most disappointing finished from a young player in his breakout year, when he was expected to easily eclipse 30 home runs and 100 RBI, and probably be closer to 40/110.

2013 Grade: B 

It’s tough to give Brown top marks after his dramatic decline in the second half, whether it was caused from the injury or not. No player who, for an entire half of a season puts up a 162 game average of less than 10 home runs and 40 RBI deserves an A. That being said, Brown was just about the hottest hitter in baseball for a month and some change, and carried the Phillies for the first half. He was clutch, and he was doing everything right. He still finished with extremely respectable numbers, which were by far best on the team, despite basically doing nothing for three months to end the season. There is some merit in that. And his concussion was a fluke injury. How many times do you see a guy dive and not slam his head hard enough to be concussed? All he is guilty of there is giving his all.

Some may think it’s a generous grade, some may think it’s a harsh grade, but Brown is deserving and a “B” constitutes above average work. For a budding young slugger like him, there will plenty of more chances for him to top it.

Avatar of Kenny Ayres

About Kenny Ayres

Kenny Ayres has written 68 articles on Phillies Nation.

WCU class of 2014 majoring in communication with a journalism minor.

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I believe that Brown showed great promise last year, but also showed that he is injury prone. I hope he stays healthy in 2014 and continues to show great promise. I agree with the B grade

  • Posts: 0 J.L.

    He hurt his Achilles too.

  • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

    Probably the only Phillies player other than Ryan Howard with the potential to hit more than 20 HRs. On again off again talk of moving him for a RH bat or starter…do it now before its too late. I have doubts about his ability to stay healthy for more than 2/3 of a season.

    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Darin Ruf has the potential as does Maikel Franco but neither one will get the opportunity to start. Maybe Byrd, too if he can come close to repeating what was obviously an outlier season last year (including 31 HRs)

  • Posts: 5346 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Looks like a fair grade to me. Apparently like many power hitters, he’s streaky. Look at Justin Upton for instance, he’s considered all star level and he’s horribly streaky.

  • Posts: 0 Rob h

    I would move him this winter if I could, either for a right handed power bat that we’ve been searching for or an up and coming pitcher. His value will never be higher and I just don’t think he is as good as the month made him out to be. Even if he were he doesn’t help this team contend and he will be 30 by the time the team is ready to go.

  • Posts: 0 Lucas

    Schmenkman for GM!

    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      I don’t know what happened to my response to Schmenkman on his comment about mine. I haven’t been on the site for a couple of days. I had a lengthy response.
      I’ll make it short this time. I’d still trade him in a heartbeat! What I said in my original comment was ” I’d trade him for a decent RH bat or a starting pitcher” I screwed up. I meant to say and a starting pitcher. Not or.
      Anyway with that said. maybe Schmenk is right about it being a stretch concerning him using injuries as an excuse. However I disagree with the concept that if you took any hitters best month out he’s not going to look good. Yea to a degree that could be true. And maybe true for a lot of players. Now I know that sounds contradictory. But I’m talking basically about the average player not the good players. good players actually have another good stretch, or maybe even two. All payers go through good and bad stretches.
      Schmenk might be right on the Achilles injury. I haven’t heard anything about when it was originally injured. Anyway besides that one month his numbers were pretty mediocre for a player the Phils will eventually build their future offense around. Hey I hope I’m dead wrong! That would be great for the team. My gut tells me he’s going to be in the .280 ave, 20-25 Hr’s, 75-80 rbi. That’s not bad I’d take three more OFers with the same numbers. But I would expect more if he’s the center of my OF production. And I don’t mean to piss anyone off here. It’s just an opinion and an observation.
      So much for making it short huh! Hey all you people hear on PN half a great Thanksgiving dinner. And drive safe if you’re going to travel.

  • Posts: 904 schmenkman

    Avatar of schmenkman

    Ryne, with all due respect you’re going off the deep end on this one:

    “To me it seems like when he starts to struggle the injuries suddenly appear. It seems as though throughout his short career that’s the MO I have noticed. Sort of like a built in excuse to fail.”

    Yes, he seems to be injury prone, and that’s a valid concern. But to take it beyond that is really reaching and to be honest kind of insulting.

    You take almost any hitter’s best month away and he’s not going to look as good. He still hit .270 in the 2nd half, and he actually improved his OBP to .333 (vs. .320 in the first half). What fell off was his power, which may have been due to his sore achilles, and I would expect that to rebound in 2014.

    I would certainly listen to offers for him. But keeping in mind that he’s cheap, young, still improving, and already an .800-.850 OPS hitter, you better get some significant value back, and not just a “decent RH bat or starting pitcher”.

  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Ryne (also with all due respect), you have to hand it to Dom if he faked his injuries. Not many players would drive their head into the ground to receive an easy to diagnose and rather severe concussion just to avoid a slump. Dom could have more easily (and less painfully) stuck his fingers down his throat and faked the flu.

    Galvis broke his back on a swing while struggling at the plate. Likewise, a struggling Howard ripped his achilles on a simple turn to first. I find it hard to believe those slumpers were sluffing it. If they were, then you have to give them points for originality… unlike Derek Rose who apparently keeps destroying his same stupid knee when things aren’t going well.
    But we know basketball players are boring.

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