Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brown Noise: A Grass Roots Movement for Logic in Right

Let’s not over think this, people. Heading into Spring Training your beloved Phillies are one of the favorites to win the World Series, they have baseball’s best rotation, the best 2nd baseman on the planet, one of the best defensive shortstops on the planet, and players with at least one elite skill all the way down the lineup (Chooch: Plate Discipline, Howard: Power, Polanco: Contact and Defense, Victorino: Arm and Speed, Ibanez: Baldness). Despite raw talent as good as anyone in the league, ongoing discourse as to who the starting right fielder should be rages on. It’s not that hard.

No matter what happens in Spring Training, Domonic Brown should be your starting Right Fielder on Opening Day. And not in some bullshit platoon, either. I want to be confident in Ruben Amaro Jr., who has done well to regain my trust of late, but when rumors surface that Phillies decision makers are seriously considering a Ben Francisco/John Mayberry/Ross Gload timeshare in right, I want to vomit.

Is Brown a finished product? That depends what you mean by finished product. If to you finished product means, “He is as good now as he’ll ever be and can’t get any better” then no, he’s not a finished product, he still has plenty of room to improve. If you think finished product means. “He has nothing left to learn from minor league pitching” then yes, he’s golden brown on top.

Brownie demolished pitching at AA and AAA last year and is not going to learn how to hit major league quality changeups and sliders in the minors. Any time Brown spends with the Iron Pigs this year is a colossal waste of time, like a talented surgeon spending another year doing nothing but tonsillectomies.

If you’re worried about the pedestrian numbers Brown posted in limited Major League at-bats last year, take a deep breath and listen to reason. He wasn’t getting regular at-bats, his trips to the plate were sporadic. He never had a chance to get into rhythm. I think he should’ve been playing left field every day, instead of Ibanez’s corpse, but we’re past that. In addition, the sample size of plate appearances is far too small to draw any conclusions from.

I don’t expect Brown to set the world afire right away. There will be growing pains. But he is so physically talented that even while he’s learning on the fly (his defensive reads need work as do his throwing mechanics) he’ll be better than Gload or Francisco or Mayberry.

I’d rather have Dom go through his adjustment period in April and be good from May on than come up in June, have the same adjustment period a few months later and only be good from July on. The sooner he comes up, the sooner he becomes an All Star, and he will be an All Star one day.

So whenever this issue comes up around your water cooler or bar stool, I want you all to be total dicks and monopolize the conversation, beating the uninformed idiots over the head with Bunyanesque stories of Domonic Brown’s talents until the world agrees with us. Exhalt from your pinstriped towers about smart player development.  Rise and be worthy of this historical hour.  It is for the greater good. Aces and Catchers report this weekend, bitches.

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