- Full name Domonic Larun Brown
- Born 09/03/1987 in Zephyrhills, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 225 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Redan
- Debut 07/28/2010
- Drafted in the 20th round (607th overall) by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006 (signed for $200,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
A football and baseball star in high school, Brown had the opportunity to play wide receiver and outfield for Miami. Prior to his senior season, he switched high schools from Pasco (Dade City, Fla.) to Redan (Stone Mountain, Ga.) because of a messy custody dispute between his mother and father, but he still dominated the competition--in both sports--in two of the nation's most heavily scouted areas. Scouts kept their distance because Brown was raw and had lofty bonus demands, but area scout Chip Lawrence tracked Brown closely and persuaded the Phillies to take a flier on him in the 20th round of the 2006 draft. The team's top scouts evaluated Brown during the summer before signing him away from the Hurricanes for $200,000. He broke out by winning the Hawaii Winter Baseball batting title (.386) after the 2008 season, and has ranked among the game's top prospects ever since. Brown played in the Futures Game and set career highs in most offensive categories in 2010. He played sparingly after a July promotion to Philadelphia, though he made the postseason roster. Brown is the prototype of the high-risk, high-reward players the Phillies like to take. He is a physical specimen, with a lean, lithe and powerful frame that draws comparisons to a young Barry Bonds and Darryl Strawberry. He has five-tool ability, with his bat getting the most attention. Brown creates incredible bat speed with his whip-like, uppercut swing and has eliminated previous questions about his power. He developed a good eye for the strike zone in the minors, though he was overly aggressive during his first stint in the big leagues. For a player with such long arms, he has a relatively short stroke with few holes. Assuming he eliminates a tendency to open his front side too early in his swing, he could hit .300 with 20-25 homers annually once he gets established in Philadelphia. He has above-average speed and the strongest outfield arm in the system. The unknown with Brown is how skilled a defender he can be in right field, as he needs to improve his route-running and footwork. With the departure of free agent Jayson Werth, Brown is set to take over as the Phillies' everyday right fielder in 2011. Manager Charlie Manuel likes to break in youngsters slowly, so Brown could start the year platooning with Ben Francisco or even get a little more time at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He's a future all-star, but he's not a finished product.
Brown attended Redan (Ga.) High, a big-time program in one of the most heavily scouted areas of the country. He'd attended top showcases--even playing on Team Baseball America at the 2005 World Wood Bat tournament in Jupiter, Fla.--yet wasn't considered an elite prospect. Brown's athletic ability was obvious, as he had an opportunity to play football (as a wide receiver) and baseball at Miami. But the fact that he was raw, combined with his bonus demands, prompted few clubs to even crosscheck him enough to consider drafting him with a early-round pick in 2006. Phillies area scout Chip Lawrence followed him closely, though, getting to know the family and bringing him to the club's predraft workout in Atlanta. After selecting him in the 20th round, scouting director Marti Wolever and national crosschecker Mike Ledna got a long look at Brown in an Atlanta-area tournament at the East Cobb complex and signed him for $200,000. Brown had a breakthrough year in 2008, won the Hawaii Winter Baseball (.389) batting title in the offseason and took another step forward last season. He shook off a broken finger on his right hand to finish with a flourish at Double-A Reading. Brown is a physical specimen, long, lean and muscular, which earns him physical comparisons to Darryl Strawberry. While he doesn't have Strawberry's raw thunder, he has true five-tool ability. His work ethic has allowed him to translate his athletic ability into baseball skills, starting with above-average hitting ability. A free swinger as an amateur, Brown has developed a solid eye at the plate and recognizes pitches well. His buggy-whip swing and growing strength give him plus raw power, and he's starting to translate it into production. He has the bat speed and strength to drive mistakes and take advantage when he's ahead in the count. Brown's other tools grade out as well or better than his bat. He's a plus runner with an arm that grades out as high as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. The biggest question on Brown's upside revolves around how much power he'll develop. Some Double-A Eastern League observers thought his power would be average at best and would limit him to hitting at the top of the lineup, rather than being a middle-of-the-lineup factor. He's still raw in several aspects offensively, compensating with his athleticism. He needs to keep improving with his pitch recognition and ability to lay off chasing pitches out of the zone. He also needs to take better routes in right field. The Phillies have productive corner outfielders in Raul Ibanez (signed through 2011) and Jayson Werth (2010), but refused to part with Brown at the trade deadline in a deal for Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee because they consider him a future star. The presence of Ibanez and Werth makes it easy to give Brown another year of at-bats and experience in the minors. He should reach Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the first time and earn at least a September callup in 2010.
Brown had committed to play football (as a wide receiver) and baseball for Miami coming out of Redan (Ga.) High--the alma mater of Brandon Phillips, among others--and his camp threw out some lofty bonus figures during the spring of 2006. That was enough for many scouts to keep their distance, but Phillies area scout Chip Lawrence followed him all spring. When Brown didn't get a qualifying standardized test score to play for the Hurricanes, Philadelphia was able to sign him for $200,000 as a 20th-round pick. Brown has moved slowly, only reaching low Class A Lakewood in his third pro year, and has benefited from the patient approach. He got off to a hot start and had a consistent season while splitting time between center and right field in 2008. He took his game up a notch by winning the batting title in Hawaii Winter Baseball, hitting .389 while drawing more walks (15) than strikeouts (14). Being tall, wiry strong and black while playing right field earns plenty of Darryl Strawberry comparisons for Brown. He also emulates Strawberry with his swing, a buggy-whip stroke that features a high back elbow and high finish. Like a young Strawberry, Brown shows athleticism, power and speed, yet he's quite different in that his hitting tool is ahead of his power at the early stages of his career. He has good hand-eye coordination and excellent timing, helping him make consistent hard contact. Brown's swing has plenty of leverage, giving him above-average raw power, and he leaves the bat head in the hitting zone a long time. He has above-average pitch recognition and identifies breaking balls out of the pitcher's hand, helping him lay off pitches he wouldn't be able to do much with. An excellent athlete, Brown is a plus runner presently who should become a premium defender in right field. His arm grades as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. How much power Brown develops will determine his big league value. He still needs to gain strength, and once he does the Phillies believe his hitting ability will result in more homers. His stroke has some length to it, and at his size, he's always going to have some holes in his swing. Some scouts question his long stride at the plate and believe he'll have timing issues as he moves up the ladder. Brown is content for now to simply make contact against lefthanders, batting .268 with just three extra-base hits against them in 2008. He made progress as a basestealer last season, with more improvements necessary in terms of getting better jumps and maximizing his speed. While club officials try to temper the enthusiasm for him, scouts in other organizations rue missing out on Brown in the draft and consider him the Phillies' top talent. He has yet to break out with a big season and seems poised to do so in 2009 at high Class A Clearwater. It may be too much to expect him to hit 335 career homers like Strawberry. But projecting him to hit 20-25 homers annually while posting above-average on-base percentages and playing stellar right-field defense is reasonable, and would make him an all-star down the line.
Brown is a product of Redan (Ga.) High, the same school that produced 30-30 man Brandon Phillips. Brown first emerged as a prospect as a pitcher and was an even bigger star as a wide receiver, turning down a football scholarship from Miami to sign for $200,000 as a 20th-round pick in 2006. But his future now is as a slugger, as scouts have compared him to a young Darryl Strawberry. While Greg Golson, Quintin Berry and D'Arby Myers can match or exceed his above-average speed, Brown has a bigger and more physical presence. He has gap power now and plenty of home run potential for the future. He's not one-dimensional at the plate, as he uses the whole field and has advanced plate discipline and pitch recognition for his age. He's also adept at bunting. A plus defender with enough range and closing speed to play center field, he fits in right field with his above-average arm strength. Brown is still raw in some phases of the game. He needs to improve as a basestealer (he got caught in seven of 21 attempts), and he can take better routes and make more accurate throws in the outfield. As he continues to grow into his huge 6-foot-5 frame, he's likely to slow down somewhat and lose his plus speed. He opened 2007 with three games in high Class A, and Brown might return there to begin 2008 based on how he handled the initial experience. He's Philadelphia's right fielder of the future, though he's probably at least two or three years away from the majors.
Minor League Top Prospects
A trendy rookie-of-the-year pick until a hamate injury sidelined him early in spring training, Brown spent 21⁄2 months in Philadelphia but ultimately lost the right-field job when the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence in July. While his 2011 numbers don't stack up against his .346/.390/.561 monthlong tear through the IL last year were down from a year ago, he still offers the same enticing athletic package. When Brown is going good at the plate, his swing is short and he shows tremendous bat speed, though he didn't consistently do so this season. His strike-zone discipline was much improved this year, however, even when he was struggling in the big leagues. His power appears in spurts and he'll likely be more of a 20-homer guy than an elite bomber. Brown has the speed to steal 20-25 bases per season and play anywhere in the outfield, but he's not a true center fielder., though his routes aren't always efficient and his range is better suited for right field. His plus-plus arm is one of the best in the minors.
After getting his feet wet in Double-A in 2009, Brown punished EL pitchers from the outset of this season. He added power to his tools package while continuing to polish his all-around game and draw physical comparisons to Darryl Strawberry. While no one thinks he has the strength and power to be the home run hitter Strawberry was, Brown has loose hands and leverage in his swing. Even scouts who see holes in his stroke and chalk up some of his power spike to Reading's fairly cozy dimensions believe he should produce at least 20 homers annually. A plus runner, Brown has the strong arm and solid range to be an average defender in right field. He's still polishing his defensive skills.
Brown entered the season as the Phillies' top-ranked prospect, and built on that by having his best pro season despite a broken hand, which sidelined him for nearly a month in the Florida State League. He earned a promotion to Double-A for the season's last five weeks and impressed managers and scouts in his short stint. His lithe, athletic body still has room to fill out and add power, and he showed enough present power in the EL, especially considering his hand injury. Power--whether he'll hit 15 home runs annually, or closer to 25--will be the ultimate question with Brown's ceiling, because he controls the strike zone fairly well, has good plate coverage and makes consistent contact. Also, his other tools are plus across the board. His defense could use some fine-tuning, in terms of better jumps, but managers routinely described his 70 arm as "outstanding," and he's a plus runner who should steal some bases in the big leagues. "He's a pull hitter now, but he's got the bat speed to stay back and still catch up to good fastballs," Connecticut manager Steve Decker said. "When he swings at a fastball, he hits it, and he drives it."
Trying to find a flaw in Brown's game is very difficult. Montero may have hit for a better average and Stanton may have more power, but neither can match Brown's all-around brilliance. "That guy is off the charts," St. Lucie manager Tim Teufel said. "We saw him as a Darryl Strawberry type. He doesn't show that mammoth power that Straw had, at least yet. But he makes all the plays, plus he'll throw you out in a heartbeat." Brown also drew some comparisons to a young Jermaine Dye, with the same cannon arm. Unlike Dye at the same age, Brown shows an advanced feel for the strike zone. He has an excellent line-drive swing and is starting to show the power that scouts have been projecting for him once he fills out. He's also a plus runner and fine right fielder.
An exceptional athlete, Brown was recruited by Miami as a wide receiver but he chose instead to sign as a 20th-round pick in 2006. The ball jumps off his bat, though his swing can get long and has some holes that can be exploited. His wiry-strong build evokes Darryl Strawberry, and he can hit the ball a long way when he connects. A long strider with above-average speed, Brown plays a shallow center field. He occasionally takes some bad routes, but he's athletic enough to compensate and has a strong arm. "He's got a ton of tools," Hudson Valley manager Matt Quatraro said. "His body, if it fills out, he could be a monster. His swing's long at times, but when he gets on top of the ball, he's got some juice."
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011
- Rated Best Batting Prospect in the Eastern League in 2010
- Rated Most Exciting Player in the Eastern League in 2010
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Florida State League in 2009
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009