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Writer’s Roundtable: The Domonic Brown Situation

Domonic Brown looks like he could become the Phillies full-time right fielder next year after trades of Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino have allowed him to be up with the big club for what looks to be a permanent stay.

However, it seems like Philadelphia is split on their opinions of him. Some say he stinks, some say he’s great, and others remain patient that he will reach his ceiling one day. Here are some of the opinions of the Phillies Nation staff on the Domonic Brown situation:

Pat Gallen: There’s no doubt he should play every single day, no matter the pitching he’s facing that night. If the Phillies want this guy to be an everyday corner outfielder, then it’s time to take the diapers off and lets him grow up. It means fighting through the inevitable highs and lows.

The way he’s been handled sucks. The Hunter Pence trade sticks out because it truly stunted his growth at the major league level. He lost his focus after that happened.

But that’s all in the past now and you can see Brown becoming acclimated with the majors nicely. I’ve been promoting patience to the fan base when it comes to Dom. Let him play every single day and around the middle of next season we’ll know who Dom Brown is as a player.

Ryan Dinger: At this point, I don’t think there’s any disagreement when suggesting that the Phillies haven’t provided Domonic Brown ideal playing conditions in his quest to develop into a big league ballplayer. This pattern of inconsistent at bats, coupled with his recent streak of injuries, has made it a rocky road to the majors for Brown.

But now that he’s relatively healthy, and the Phillies have nothing to compete for, there’s no one on the 40-man roster better suited to play everyday at one of the three outfield positions than Domonic Brown. You start him everyday to close out this season, and pencil his name in as one of the starting outfielders for 2013.

Eric Seidman: The entire situation is very frustrating. The Phillies were a great team before acquiring Hunter Pence, and the best half-season of his career made them an excellent regular season squad. But the trade had its drawbacks. For starters, the Phillies traded away two premium offensive prospects in Jonathan Singleton and Domingo Santana. Second, it meant that Domonic Brown wouldn’t get regular playing time at the major league level. Even if Brown struggled mightily for a month, the Phillies would have played well enough as a team to make the playoffs.

Brown is a very patient hitter, which is tougher to develop at the major league level. The power will come, but his ability to take walks, avoid swinging at slop, and post a .350+ OBP is very encouraging. Realistically, the silver lining to this mess of a season is that the team is now forced to play him everyday, without platooning him, demoting him, or messing with his game.

Ian Riccaboni: I think Domonic Brown is one of the most athletic, talented, and promising young players to arrive in Phillies pinstripes since Chase Utley. A lot of the criticisms that fans pinned on Utley early on in his career are similar to those that follow Brown: good-but-not-great plate discipline, bad defense, but not ready enough right now to contribute on a team that is ready to win now.

Yet, Brown has turned the corner in 2012. Brown is now fully-healthy for the first time since October 2010 and his improved plate discipline numbers are encouraging at worst and tantalizing at best. I am certainly excited that the best option to play every day finally is playing every day.

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