August 19, 2010



"Domonic Brown. My gosh."


-"Domonic Brown just CRUSHED a home run into the second deck in right field. Kid has potential."


It doesn't matter if you're a national baseball writer, a longtime Phillies scribe or a passionate blogger/day-one Dom Brown enthusiast; the kid, in small doses, is slowly captivating the baseball world.

He took his first curtain call last night, the first of many, after a 440-foot home run in the eighth inning of what became a blowout of the San Francisco Giants.

It was a moonshot to the second deck, a majestic bomb that caused Phillies fans around the world to scream "OHHHHHHHHH" all at once.

It reinforced our belief that Domonic Brown is the future of the Philadelphia Phillies. As Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley continue to age, preferably gracefully, Dom Brown will be here to (hopefully) pick up the slack.

He's got speed, he's got power, he's got a gun for a left arm. He's got the tools to be a good defender, once he starts taking better routes to the ball.

His line since his call-up is mediocre -- .244/.244/.439, one walk to 13 strikeouts -- but the flashes have been there, enough to keep everyone excited. Charlie Manuel's probably playing this the right way, limiting his at-bats against left-handed pitching and bringing Brown along slowly. On a team that's been rolling for the last month, making a late playoff push and getting major contributions from the Ross Gloads and Wilson Valdezes of the world, there's been no reason to rush Dom along.

The fans have been smart about it, too, not getting up in arms about Brown sitting three or four times a week. We appreciate every little taste we get, and we recognize that, in the grand scheme of things, it's about winning now. This isn't the time or the place to throw Dom Brown in the deep end; let the kid get his feet wet, let him get acclimated to his surroundings. He's got the next five-to-10 years to launch more balls into the upper decks of right-center field.

Lots of people have commented on his post-homer celebrations with Jayson Werth, the man he's supposed to be replacing next year/his "rival," I guess. Well, Werth didn't look too combative last night, and Brown appeared to be fitting in just fine with his (relatively) new teammates. Hell, Mike Sweeney just about shoved Brown out of the dugout to take his curtain call. It's clear that most everyone on the team -- even the soon-to-be-departed and old, washed-up first basemen -- are as psyched about Dom Brown as we are.

Nevertheless, I feel obligated to offer the disclaimer that Brown is still an unfinished product. It remains to be seen what Brown will actually evolve into: an All-Star, 30-30 player; a serviceable outfielder with 20-homer power; or (God no) a platoon specialist that only hits righties. When major league pitchers find his holes, when they start pounding him with breaking ball after breaking ball, will he be able to adjust? Can he hit tough lefties? Can he hold up over 150 games in the outfield?

Those questions will be answered, at least in part, in 2011. But for now, whenever Domonic Brown does something incredible, I get an outrageous amount of pleasure from logging onto Twitter and watching the world shower him with endless praise. Including this tweet, of course, which would have been written in size-100 type if possible:


To quote Donald Fagen, "You've got to admit it, at this point in time, that it's clear: the future looks bright."

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