Phillies Prospect #16: Dominic Brown

Dominic Brown had alternatives to playing outfield - mainly, pitching or possibly, the NFL - but after a breakout season in 2007, the outfield seems to be the best of options.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 20th round of the 2006 Draft.

B:T: L  / Height: 6' 5" / Weight: 204 lbs.

Birth Date: September 3, 1987

2007 Team: Williamsport (74 g), Clearwater (3 g)

Positions Played in 2007: RF (48 g), CF (31 g)

School: Redan High School (Stone Mountain, GA)

Last Year's Ranking: 40

Why he moved up from #40: While it was a relatively small jump from the Gulf Coast League to the New York - Penn League, Dominic Brown put up much better numbers than he did in his first professional season. He got a taste of Clearwater - jumping over Lakewood - and went 4-for-9 (.444) in three games with the Threshers during a June audition. Brown turned 20 last September and his improvement was even more than what the Phillies thought they would get from Brown in 2007.

Batting and Power: Brown spent most of his high school career as a pitcher, so his offense wasn't the focus of what he could do on a baseball field, although he did show some promise as a hitter playing in high school. Brown's emergence offensively last season was a tribute to the effort that he's put in working with coaches and mentors in the Phillies minor league system. The power that the Phillies believe they'll get from Brown hasn't really shown just yet, but give it time. He's developed a sweet swing and is still developing physically thanks, in part, to a weight training program that he's been on since being drafted. One key for him to work on is drawing more walks; His debut season saw Brown walk once every 10.9 plate appearances and barely cut that to one walk for every 10.1 appearances in 2007.

Baserunning and Speed: Brown's lack of walks is an issue, not only because it's a sign of an offensive weakness, but because he's got great speed that's going to waste if he's not getting on base. In his first season, Brown had more stolen bases (13) than he did walks (12). Even though he didn't match his stolen base percentage from his first season, Brown consistently posts a successful percentage on the bases, because he's a smart base stealer and has natural instincts on when to try to swipe a base. He's also able to grab an extra base on the basepaths and will do so whenever he has a legitimate chance. Obviously, his speed is also put to good use on defense.

Defense: One real nice development that has come from Brown's hard work is his defensive footwork. He doesn't look clumsy and has good instincts defensively, so he can track down balls that aren't hit right at him. He's also found out that using the correct footwork puts him in a better position to throw out runners and he picked up nine assists last season from the outfield.

Projection: There has always been some thought that if things didn't pan out for Brown, he could possibly pursue a career in the NFL, since he was a standout high school football player and chose baseball over football after the Phillies drafted him. The Phillies thought that if things didn't work out for him as an outfielder, they could move him to the pitching mound, where he also had success in high school. After two pro seasons - especially considering his 2007 season was somewhat of a breakout season - there doesn't appear to be any reason to move him back to the mound or start measuring him for shoulder pads. Brown will move to Lakewood for the 2008 season, which will be interesting to see how he handles the switch to a full season league. The way things stand now, Brown figures to be moving through the system without much trouble and should put himself into a good spot to move up the Phillies depth chart in the outfield.

Dominic Brown's career stats

2006 GCL 1 7 .214 34 117 13 25 3 0 13 12 30 .292 .265
2007 Clearwater 1 7 .444 3 9 2 4 1 0 0 2 0 .545 .889
2007 Williamsport 3 32 .295 74 285 43 84 11 5 14 27 49 .356 .400
TOTALS 5 46 .275 111 411 58 113 15 5 27 41 79 .343 .372

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