January 11, 2014
Alumni adjusting in the majors
While World Series alumni Kolten Wong, Xander Bogaerts, and Jonathan Schoop made their Major League Baseball debuts late this past season, alumni who have taken the journey before them to the upper echelon of players made adjustments on baseball’s biggest stage.
Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown, named the organization’s top prospect in 2010, had a break-out month in May and ended the 2013 Major League Baseball season as the Phillies’ top power hitter while winning the team’s MVP award.
The 2004 alumnus (Dade City Little League, Dade City, Fla.) made his Major League debut in July 2010, with Phillies fans having high hopes for the then-22-year-old. He doubled off the right field wall in his first plate appearance. Then he fizzled, batting only .210 in 35 games that season, with three doubles and two home runs. In 2011, Brown hit .245, with 10 doubles and five home runs. However, the Phillies limited him to only 56 games and sent him back to AAA Lehigh Valley (Pa.).
In 2012, Brown broke a bone in his wrist during spring training, causing him to miss the first two months of the regular season. He again sputtered, hitting .235 with 11 doubles and five home runs in 56 games.
Critics weren’t necessarily critical of Brown as much as they were of the Phillies for constantly bouncing Brown between Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia and trying to change Brown’s swing, which had a tendency to be too long and sweeping for the 6-foot-6 lefthander.