January 30 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“On July 28, Domonic Brown came to bat at Citizens Bank Park for the first time, and the sold-out crowd welcomed him with a standing ovation before the top prospect had done anything. Then he doubled high off the wall on the third pitch he saw in the majors.
After the game, inside the Phillies’ clubhouse, his teammates gushed. On the table in the middle of the room were copies of the most recent edition of Baseball America, with Brown on the cover, anointed the best prospect in baseball.
“I think he can hit in the middle of the order,” manager Charlie Manuel said in the minutes following Brown’s debut. “It’s just a matter of time.”
Inexplicably, in the 186 days since then, Phillies executives, fans, talking heads, and writers (yours truly not excluded) have tried to knock Brown down a peg. It is this groupthink that has prevailed throughout the off-season: Brown isn’t ready to be the everyday rightfielder.
And it’s wrong. What, exactly, is this notion based on? After a spectacular minor-league season, Brown had 62 at-bats in the majors. Many were as a bench player, a role to which he was unaccustomed. He also suffered a strained right quadriceps that limited him in September.
He stuck around on the bench for the postseason and had three at-bats. Then he went to the Dominican Republic for winter ball. Brown left after nine disappointing games, hitting 2 for 29.”
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