Though Domonic Brown made his major-league debut in 2010, this is the first season we’ve been able to accurately judge his abilities and forecast his future because it’s the first season he’s played every day. And he’s making quite the impression, providing power in the middle of the Phillies’ order with a team-leading eight home runs.
Brown trails only Chase Utley and Ryan Howard with 23 RBIs, and his .435 slugging percentage is second only to Utley among Phils regulars.
At age 25, Brown is on pace for 28 home runs. Only 29 active players have hit that many homers in their age-25 season, meaning Brown will join a select group if he keeps it up.
What makes Brown’s situation more impressive, though, is that this is his first full season. Of those 29 active guys with 28-plus homers at age 25, all but four previously had at least one full season under their belt. Brown’s played in parts of three years, but even if you add up all those plate appearances it doesn’t even equal one full season.
Carlos Quentin, Mark Trumbo, Pedro Alvarez and Josh Reddick – that’s the complete list of active players who homered at least 28 times at the age and situation Brown is in.
Brown’s success to this point has been the most positive sign of an up-and-down Phillies season. It’s not just impressive plate discipline anymore - Brown’s power is developing to where the Phillies need it to be.
Over his last 25 games, Brown has six homers and five doubles. Those 11 extra-base hits came in the span of just 94 plate appearances; no other player in the NL East had that many XBH in that few plate appearances over the last month.
With Ryan Howard dinged up, Delmon Young coming around very slowly, Carlos Ruiz out several weeks and Chase Utley possibly the same, Brown’s contributions have been important and will continue to be.
Brown has no walks and 14 strikeouts in May, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s already proven at this level that he has solid plate discipline, and now he’s swinging in hitter’s counts no matter how early.
On 1-0 counts this season Brown is 7 for 13 with two homers. On 2-0 counts he’s 5 for 7 with a double.
Where Brown used to be passive, he’s now taking charge. And his increased aggressiveness is paying off in the form of power.