Domonic Brown, OF
Born: 9/3/1987 in Zephyrhills, Florida
He could have ended up running routes and catching passes in the NFL, but instead Domonic Brown runs those routes in the outfield and sprays line drives around the field as the Phillies best position prospect. Though he was recruited to play wide receiver for the University of Miami when he was in high school, Brown chose to pursue a career in baseball and looks to be well on his way. Gifted with a long, wiry frame that allows him to have better than average power and speed, Brown is showing himself to be an elite prospect, ranked 24th in the country by MLB.com and 17th by Baseball America this season. With two years of development left before he reaches Michael Taylor’s current age (25), Brown is already showing the statistical output that vaulted Taylor toward the top of the heap.
Brown, who was drafted in the 20th round in 2006 as a right-handed pitcher, has a quick swing allows him to make consistent, solid contact and when he gets his arms extended the result is an impressive display of strength. His body is made to hit balls hard, something he does on a regular basis. Brown uses his smooth left-handed stroke to hit the ball over the field, a skill he has worked on to increase his power to center- and left-field. The same long strides that made him a good wide receiver allow Brown to cover plenty of ground in the outfield. Considering he was drafted as a pitcher, he also has a good throwing arm that, coupled with his range, will make him an asset on either corner of the outfield.
On the basepaths Brown adds another above-average tool to his game. He has stolen 72 bases over parts of four seasons, and though he has been caught stealing 27 times that is still a good success rate for a young player. In a recent interview with Baseball Prospectus, Brown explained the work he has put into become a threat on the bases.
I’m trying to get out here with Q, Quintin Berry, because he’s a great base stealer. It’s all about the technique and reading pitchers, and just getting out there and doing it, working on your cross-over step and getting out there and just doing the job, using your speed. Usually, if a pitcher is around 1.3 [seconds] and up, I’m going. I’m taking a chance, because it’s usually a good time to go.
He has the speed, the defensive range, a strong arm and an ability to hit for both power and average. With all of those skills on his resume, Brown is truly a five-tool prospect, the type that teams salivate over when talking trades. Brown’s name was thrown about all over the place this summer, with every team the Phillies talked to reportedly interested in the 22-year-old. Seeing his name on ESPN throughout July didn’t slow him down at all. Brown started the year in Clearwater before suffering a broken finger that kept him out for six weeks, but rebounded from that injury to earn a promotion to double-A, where he finished well. In 147 at-bats with Reading he hit .279 and slugged 16 extra-base hits, while going 8-for-9 in steal attempts.
There is still room for Brown to grow, more power that will come as he improves his strength and gains more experience. But at 22 he has already turned potential into ability, tools into skills and weaknesses into strengths. When he starts 2010 at Reading there will be plenty of eyes tracking his progress, with Michael Taylor one level ahead of him. By the end of the year he could be at Lehigh Valley with the team and its fans eagerly awaiting his arrival in Philadelphia. It may still be two seasons away, but once Brown makes it to the Majors he’ll be a mainstay for years.
Year Level AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB AVG OBP SLG
2006 ROOK 117 25 3 0 1 7 12 30 13 .214 .292 .265
2007 A-/A+ 294 88 12 5 4 39 29 49 14 .299 .363 .415
2008 A 444 129 23 3 9 54 64 72 22 .291 .382 .417
2009 A+/AA 395 118 21 9 14 64 49 86 23 .299 .377 504
Rankings – All previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing
2. Domonic Brown, OF
3. Michael Taylor, OF
4. Travis d’Arnaud, C
5. Zach Collier, OF
6. Trevor May, RHP
7. Joe Savery, LHP
8. Vance Worley, RHP
9. Sebastian Valle, C
10. Mike Stutes, RHP
11. Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12. Anthony Gose, OF
13. Colby Shreve, RHP
14. Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15. Justin De Fratus, RHP
16. Sergio Escalona, LHP
17. Yohan Flande, LHP
18. Julian Sampson, RHP
19. John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20. Mike Cisco, RHP
21. Freddy Galvis, SS
22. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23. Domingo Santana, OF
24. Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25. Drew Naylor, RHP