Phillies Prospect #40: Dominic Brown

Dominic Brown had some tough decisions to make coming out of high school. He could either play football for the Miami Hurricanes or sign with the Phillies and pursue a major league baseball career. It could be very good for the Phillies that he chose the latter.

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As a kid, Dominic Brown pictured himself playing football for the Miami Hurricanes. Few people achieve their dream and then turn it down; Dominic Brown did just that. Rather than accept a scholarship to play football for Miami, Brown signed with the Phillies who had drafted him in the 20th round of last June's draft.

Nobody will ever know how it would all have turned out. Brown would have also played baseball for Miami and could have possibly put himself in a position to sign a pro deal in either football or baseball and possibly be drafted higher than the Phillies were able to grab him. Of course, Brown was a pitcher in high school, so nobody even knows for sure where on the field he would have been playing.

Dominic Brown's career stats

'06 Gulf Coast League 1 7 .214 34 117 13 25 3 0 13 12 30 .292

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies out of Redan High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Batting and Power: Being a converted pitcher, offense is where most people will place their concerns when they judge Brown. Much of his offensive skills are simply potential at this point, including his power. Being just 19, Brown will likely fill out more and with his increased maturity and a good weight program, Brown will have a bunch of power potential. Brown showed a little power in high school and was no slouch at the plate, hitting .455 in his senior season. It took Brown a little time to adapt at the plate in the pros, but finished strong with hits in 13 of his final 18 games in the GCL for a .284 average over that span.

Baserunning and Speed: Brown has a lot of speed and he knows how to use it. He stole 13 bases in 16 attempts last season in the Gulf Coast League. The fact that he had more stolen bases than he did walks is part of the problem, since he doesn't get enough chances to use his speed on the basepaths. He's not the type of player to gamble with his speed and doesn't take chances. Brown also gets a good jump on the bases and is a sure bet to grab any extra base that's available.

Defense: Not having played very far off the pitcher's mound in high school, Brown took easily to the outfield. He made just two errors in 34 games in the Gulf Coast League. He has a strong, accurate arm that should also become stronger as he develops more. Any mistakes that Brown may make defensively are generally covered up by his speed and getting a quick jump on balls hit in his area.

Projection: The good news is that Brown signed with the Phillies rather than pursue a career in football.  The bad news is that he's going to require a lot of patience and there is a concern among some scouts that he could burn out if things don't go well and decide to look toward the NFL. There is always the chance that if he doesn't develop as an outfielder, the Phillies could switch him back to pitching. After all, when they announced his name on draft day, it was as a pitcher. Having a 6' 4" left-hander on the mound is always an attractive alternative.


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