We Sure “Top Prospect” Domonic Brown is a Sure Thing? – Phillies Nation

We Sure “Top Prospect” Domonic Brown is a Sure Thing?

Since 23-year-old Domonic Brown is the next big thing in Philadelphia baseball, a comment I made last week about the chance he’s not quite ready, led some people to believe that I was selling him short.  Last Thursday commenter, The Original Chuck P, said, “Domonic Brown is a top 5 Baseball America prospect… they don’t miss on these guys.”

So to see how accurate that claim was, I went all the way back to 2001 (my wonderful High School graduation year!) to see how accurate Baseball America has been in their top, “Top Prospect” picks.  Brown ranks at #4 in this year’s preseason TOP 100, taking the top five from each of the past 10 years.  (For the record, I do think Domonic Brown will be an All-Star – he’ll just need a few years of MLB experience).

Some of the “Top Prospect” picks were right on the money: Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, etc…  Some have been way off the mark: Jesse Foppert, Joel Guzman (who?), etc…  I’ll let you be the judge: 

2001: #1 Josh Hamilton (OF, Devil Rays)

#2 Corey Patterson (OF, Cubs)

#3 Josh Beckett (RHP, Marlins)

#4 Jon Rauch (RHP, White Sox)

#5 Ben Sheets (RHP, Brewers)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #8 Ryan Anderson (LHP, Mariners)

2002: #1 Josh Beckett (RHP, Marlins)

#2 Mark Prior (RHP, Cubs)

#3 Hank Blalock (3b, Rangers)

#4 Sean Burroughs (3b, Padres)

#5 Carlos Pena (1b, Athletics)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #9 Drew Henson (3b, Yankees)

2003: #1 Mark Teixeira (3b, Rangers)

#2 Rocco Baldelli (OF, Devil Rays)

#3 Jose Reyes (SS, Mets)

#4 Joe Mauer (C, Twins)

#5 Jesse Foppert (RHP, Giants)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #none (Jose Contreras, Brandon Phillips, Hideki Matsui, Gavin Floyd, Francisco Rodriguez… all good players in my book, Contreras gets the vote if I need to pick one)

2004: #1 Joe Mauer (C, Twins)

#2 B.J. Upton (SS, Devil Rays)

#3 Delmon Young (OF, Devil Rays)

#4 Edwin Jackson (RHP, Dodgers)

#5 Rickie Weeks (2b, Brewers)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #7 Kazuo Matsui (SS, Mets)

2005: #1 Joe Mauer (C, Twins)

#2 Felix Hernandez (RHP, Mariners)

#3 Delmon Young (OF, Devil Rays)

#4 Ian Stewart (3b, Rockies)

#5 Joel Guzman (SS, Dodgers)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #9 Andy Marte (3b, Braves)

2006: #1 Delmon Young (OF, Devil Rays)

#2 Justin Upton, (SS, Diamondbacks)

#3 Brandon Wood (SS, Angels)

#4 Jeremy Hermida (OF, Marlins)

#5 Stephen Drew (SS, Diamondbacks)

Also Top 10… Bust- #9 Lastings Milledge

2007: #1 Dice-K Matsuzaka (RHP, Red Sox)

#2 Alex Gordon (3b, Royals)

#3 Delmon Young (OF, Devil Rays)

#4 Phillip Hughes (RHP, Yankees)

#5 Homer Bailey (RHP, Reds) …

Also Top 10… Bust- #6 Cameron Maybin (OF, Tigers)

2008: #1 Jay Bruce (OF, Reds)

#2 Evan Longoria (3b, Rays)

#3 Joba Chamberlain (RHP, Yankees)

#4 Clay Buchholz (RHP, Red Sox)

#5 Colby Rasmus (OF, Cardinals)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #6 Cameron Maybin (again), #9 Homer Bailey

2009: #1 Matt Wieters (C, Orioles)

#2 David Price (LHP, Rays)

#3 Colby Rasmus (OF, Cardinals)

#4 Tommy Hanson (RHP, Braves)

#5 Jayson Herward (OF, Braves)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #8 Cameron Maybin (might as well just keep putting him on here)

2010: Jason Heyward (OF, Braves)

#2 Stephen Strasburg (RHP, Nationals)

#3 Mike Stanton (OF, Marlins)

#4 Jesus Montero (C, Yankees)

#5 Brian Matusz (LHP, Orioles)

…Way too soon to label Desmond Jennings, Buster Posey, Pedro Alvarez, Neftali Feliz and Carlos Santana anything other than YOUNG TALENT


After looking at this list, we have to give credit to Baseball America for pretty accurately listing players that HAVE been and WILL become All-Stars, MVPs, and CY YOUNG winners.  But we must also take note that there are a number of “can’t miss” prospects that do miss, and never reach the lofty goals we set for them.  We see that nothing in life is certain, not even players labeled “Top Prospects” becoming the next great thing.

In the case of one Domonic Larun Brown (middle name Larun…really??), I hope they hit it right on the head and he makes us forget all about that guy with the beard.  You know who I mean, the one that hit .444 in the ’08 World Series, but later cursed-out a Dad in the stands, then took all that money…ah, what’s his name???  See, since the odds are strongly in Brown’s favor that he backs up that hype, I’ve already forgotten.

-Don M

Click to comment


  1. Andrew from waldorf

    May 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    He is our best hope and the young blood this franchise desperately needs in thier every day major league line up. I sure hope hes good. He is needed for a bunch of reasons.

  2. Pat Gallen

    May 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I still think they can wait. Is he going to give you anything better than Mayberry/Ben Fran? It’s possible, but they can afford to wait, let him get some at-bats and grow some confidence before bringing him up here. I bet they’ll get him at least 75 at bats before entertaining bringing him up.

    But this post shows Baseball America is usually right about these guys – which is fine by me!

  3. Chuck

    May 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Gotta wait if at all possible. When he’s here….he’s here. But let’s not rush it….if it’s not necessary. I think he’s gonna be good……REALLY good.

  4. Jeff

    May 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    The Phillies need some youth. Bring up Brown and stick him in left. Put Ben in right and sell raul for a pack of smokes. This Phillies team are in trouble. They cant beat lefties and they are so up and down. Watching the game last night was worst then watching the view.

  5. Pat Gallen

    May 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Jeff, the View! (Actually you might be right, last night was brutal). But the View is no better.

  6. TheDipsy

    May 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Why would you leave Brown down in AAA and wait if he’s ripping it up two weeks from now? To get him another 50 ABs? To quote a former fan favorite “For who? For what?”. I was all for keeping Brown down at the beginning of the year. The I started watching Raul and Ben Fran. IF our pitching is gonna carry us, then we can afford to let DBro come up and take his lumps. @AWF – BenFran has a poor arm in RF and he hasn’t really learned his way around the Bank yet. NOT to say that DB knows his way around RF up here yet but at least we know he’s got a cannon. I do not like the fact that he holds his hands up so high. Hey, other guys have held their hands like that and hit so……. Yeah, Raul is not a pitch hitter. I fear that Raul might have to ride off into the sunset but his satchels full.

    The Dipsy

  7. bacardipr05

    May 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    They will bring him up Dipsy patience. Raul is doing so horrible it might be sooner than later. It makes sense for him to have a few at bats down in the minors. The kid didnt have a spring training. Let him get back in the “swing” of things for a little bit(pun intended). I understand your point but i think the Phils org is doing the right thing here. He probably will eat up minor league pitching boasting his confidence when he gets back. I think this is the right thing I have a feeling he’ll be up mid May.

  8. Dropped Strike Three

    May 2, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I’m actually impressed by how accurate Baseball America has been with these guys. I’m with The Dipsy on this one… If I’m going to watch someone flail aimlessly at baseballs, I’d rather it be a 23 year old than a 39 year old.

  9. Tom

    May 2, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    You should check this out:


    We’ve got all kinds of baseball equipment, from pitching machines to baseballs and more. Check it out!

  10. bfo_33

    May 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Nice research Don, I wondered the same thing, but never followed up. The only thing worse than watching Ibanez struggle would be to bring up Dom too early and wreck him. Let him get comfortable with his swing at LV – 20 abs or 100, whatever it takes, then bring him up and play him consistently. If you look at some of the busts, they came up too early with too much pressure to succeed (Maybin and Milledge in particular).

  11. Lefty

    May 2, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Good stuff Don,
    I guess there is truly no such thing as a sure thing.

    All we can do is hope for the best with Brown, I guess. My guess is that he will not do well at first, many will lose patience, and then he will come into his own and become a very good player for many years to come. Just a hunch.

  12. John C

    May 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I think it might be premature to call Maybin a bust. He has just turned 24 and is OPSing .779 from a premium defensive position.

    • Andrew from waldorf

      May 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm

      I really really like Maybin
      Would love if he was a phillie.
      Some guys mature later than others.

    • Don M

      May 3, 2011 at 10:06 am

      You are probably right on Maybin . . . he’s only got 650 At-Bats at the MLB level, I thought it was way more than that – but I know that every time they tried to give him a job, he wasn’t ready to handle it.. but he seems to be turning the page in San Diego …Im probably harsh on him since he’s an Ex Marlin

  13. betasigmadeltashag

    May 2, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Ok I get the Raul is in the worst slump of his life, so I expect the post saying he is all done. But some are still jumping down Ben Fran who is getting more comfortable in RF. You should not bring up Dom Brown until Charlie is ready to play him at least 3-5 games a week which means he has hit left handed pitching. You can not bring him up like last year and have him sit on the bench it does not do any one any good. with the record where it is now, and Charlie is not giving up on Raul until at least the end of May or maybe even mid june. Which means not many of at bats. Baring injury or Raul not hitting for another month there may not be room for him.

    • Lefty

      May 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      Good call Beta,
      You are right on about Charlie, doesn’t make sense until he is convinced.

  14. Dropped Strike Three

    May 2, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I think the lesson we can learn from all of this is that being ranked #9 is pretty much a career ender.

  15. tavian

    May 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I tend to agree with The Dipsy on bringing Brown up and letting Ibanez drift off into the sunset, with saddlebags full of booty, of course. But, I admit that I may be dead wrong. I am anxious to see our offense come alive and do not see it happening with Raul. I am watching the Marlins now and they are a team to reckon with, Greg Dobbs playing third and all.

  16. Andrew from waldorf

    May 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Marlins are for real.
    I knew the Braves last year were not a threat for the division.

    The Marlins are.
    Losing Uggla and his below avg glove at a defensive position is a real plus for them.

    There is a very simple reason he was traded to a division foe.
    Move him to LF and hed be a fine player.

  17. bacardipr05

    May 3, 2011 at 3:03 am

    There are some early reports that the Phils are interested in Marco Scutaro. I dont know much about him but why the Phils seem so bent on signing old guys that are near the end of their careers. He is also from i gathered hitting .170 we already have that in Raul.

  18. Andrew from waldorf

    May 3, 2011 at 4:32 am

    He is hitting .175 and hes 35
    I guess he can play ss and 2b.
    Tells me they arent happy with Utley rehab or with Valdez?
    He lost his job with boston to a guy named Jed Lawrie.

    I want no part of him. Bring back Castilla before this.
    Say it isnt so.

  19. Andrew from waldorf

    May 3, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Id take Maybin over Joba ” burger joe jr.” Chamberlain in a heartbeat.

  20. bfo_33

    May 3, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Scutaro is one of the few players that will actually make the Phils older. Plus, he has all the negatives of Valdez, with none of the positives (maybe a bit more power). Please take a pass!

    Agree that Maybin may turn out tobe a decent player, but if graded now, would have to be as a bust.

    • John C

      May 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

      The only outfielder in the major leagues who is younger than Maybin that has a higher WAR this year is Justin Upton. You have to be concerned with the sample size, but showing this kind of production at his age is worthy of a top 10 prospect rating.

  21. bacardipr05

    May 3, 2011 at 5:03 am

    If they looking at him then is something up with Utley. Utley did 3 innings of simulated games. Im wondering if the next day he had some pain?

  22. TheDipsy

    May 3, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Scutaro is a good player. I would love Maybin, also. Whats all this with the Phils getting older? The only time we should really care about the team getting older is if we were tethered to old guys via contract. Ibanez and Moyer being examples. Rollins contract is up. Ibanez is up. Lidge is up. Polanco up next year. That is age that is on our roster for short periods of time. My guess is that in two sesaons one might marvel at how young the lineup is. Utley (if he returns) and Ryan will age during their contracts. Aside from that we will get big turnover in the next two seasons and make ourselves younger. Who cares if we take a player on this year that is old by whos contract is up after the season? Remember, you’re only as old as the girls you feel.

    The Dipsy

  23. bfo_33

    May 3, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Scutaro WAS a solid major league player. Never had great range or a very good arm, now doesn’t have the bat either. He is not an upgrade to anyone on the roster, including Ibanez.

  24. Chuck

    May 3, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I like Scutaro. MAYBE he could help in the short term. But is he really any better than what we already have??


    Dipsy… “Only as old as the girls you feel” ???


  25. philliesphanmike

    May 3, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Give these kids time… I watched Brown with the Lakewood BlueClaws, and to see how the ball jumps off his bat is just awesome. He will be batting clean up before you know it. Give him time.

  26. Pat Gallen

    May 3, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Well I hope Brown isn’t batting cleanup. That would mean something has happened to Ryan Howard. But I do think Brown has the tool to hit 25 homers, steal some bases, and play pretty good defense. Cant ask for more than that.

  27. Chuck

    May 3, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I think what Brown will provide more than anything else right now is a spark…..an infusion of youth into the lineup. Expectations are heaped so high on this kid and that’s almost not fair. As a fanbase we need to be patient and just let him develop into the player that he is

    As for Raul and how the Phillies handle his contract…..if he’s eventually released so that Brown can take his roster spot….then it’s not really as if the Phillies are having to increase their payroll all that much to make that change. Raul will be paid, but Brown will produce more….so for the OVERALL money spent between them and the OVERALL production they will get…..the Phillies will actually be ahead. Does any of that make any sense?

    • Pat Gallen

      May 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

      Excellent point Chuck. Gotta be patient with this kid – can’t have the weight of the world on his shoulders just yet.

  28. Don M

    May 3, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Last year when everyone was calling for Brown to takeover for Ibanez… I argued that I didn’t think Brown’s production would be better than that of Raul’s – and with the 2nd half he had, Ibanez made me look smart

    but thinking about it last night… the Phillies are clearly in a position that as soon as Brown is healthy, they can shift Ben Fran to LEFT, and let Brown play everyday in RIGHT FIELD..

    What I was chalking up to just bad luck, and some diminished skill, I think i’m getting more and more on board with the fact that Raul will struggle all year long, and the Phillies would be better suited with the upside of Brown, then the downside of Ibanez … and if he slots right in, he’d be batting 6th or so which seems perfect for the “not too much pressure, but still great chance for production”

  29. Chuck

    May 3, 2011 at 10:22 am

    So what do the Phillies do with Ibanez once Brown is here?? Release him right away? Platoon? Bench guy? ….does he have ANYTHING left?? …. I guess the Phillies’ W-L record might dictate some of that decision?

    • Manny

      May 3, 2011 at 10:27 am

      I guess they have to give Brown at least 20 more days at AAA before calling him up (even if he’s raking)… and if Raul is STILL struggling by then, then they might just move Raul to the bench and give him 2-3 starts per week.. mixing and matching among Raul, Brown, and Francisco –with the latter two getting the most at-bats.

      I’m starting to get the feeling that May will be do-or-die for Raul. I’m really rooting for him hard. C’MON RAUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!!!

  30. Manny

    May 3, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I hope the Phils aren’t really looking at Scutaro… not because I don’t like the guy, but because that would mean Utley’s rehab isn’t going too well.. :/

    Which brings me back to Luis Castillo… why did we release him again? He sure could add a little bit of “patience” to this lineup…

  31. Don M

    May 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I’ve always been a believe in the “you’re paying him regardless of what production he gives you” …. so just because you’re paying someone x-amount of dollars doesn’t mean that he should play if he’s not producing..

    And i was slightly encouraged by Raul’s first two at bats on Sunday night, he hit it hard both times, but at the same time, his swings against Pelfrey’s splitter on Friday were TERRIBLE… so not only does his bat look slower, his EYE isn’t picking up the rotation/break … Unless Raul hits .300 starting tonight—> on … I think i’m on board for Brown getting the share of playing time in RF, Ben Fran in LF … Mayberry as the 4th OF, Gload as the lefty … and between Raul and Martinez as the last bench guy, i’m not sure

  32. Jeff

    May 3, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Lee has been off but Im sure he will bounce back. This offense is so up and down that it scares you. To much pressure on the pitching rotation. This team is old and not exciting to watch. Hopefully Brown can change that around. Raul is shot at 40 years old. His bat has slown down. Howard has no protection and watching Rollins in the third hole makes me want to pull my hair out. Whats left of it. We get nothing from second so hopefully Chase comes back soon. They are pros and lets face it outside of a couple teams the NL is aweful.

    • Manny

      May 3, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Raul is 38, not 40. He turns 39 in June.

      • Chuck

        May 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm

        People just want to make him older than he is…..as if to ACCENTUATE their point.

        Let’s go RAUUUUUUUUUULLL!!!!!

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