What to Expect in 2013: Corner Outfielders

Corner outfield like the infield corners is where teams look to put players with power and limited athleticism.  Typically right fielders have to have a strong arm to make the throw to third base to prevent teams from going first to third on every single (and tagging up on fly balls), however having a plus arm in left is still a legitimate asset to a team’s defense.  Up until 2010 the corners had not been a major problem for the Phillies but since the departure of Jayson Werth the Phillies have struggled to fill RF, they got a successful half season out of Hunter Pence at a very high price but otherwise the replacements in RF have been disappointments.  In LF the Phillies historically have been willing to sacrifice defense in order to get a good bat into the line up.

On a whole the Phillies have drafted and signed toolsy outfielders with limited success to this point, highlighted by Dominic Brown’s current major league struggles.  It does however leave the system with a good amount of players who have high upside, both in the corners and center field, that could make the jump to solid prospects.

As always if you have not read gregg’s end of year recaps for would like the refresher here is the upper half and the lower half.

Darin Ruf (26) – Ruf has been the source of much discussion this fall after a torrid end to his AA season.  Going into the year he has a very good org first baseman that had some upside as a bench bat.  By the end of the season Ruf had put up one of the greatest AA in Phillies history, and had hit 3 HRs in the major leagues.  Ruf has been playing mostly in LF since the middle of August, where he has the tools to be average at best with an ok arm and poor speed, there have been positive reports so far from his time in winter ball.   In both the majors and winter ball Ruf showed more swing and miss to his game, but he still maintained his ability to hit for power.  At best Ruf can be a poor fielding, slugging LF who will provide RF power in a market where it as a premium.  Ruf’s best position is first base but that is blocked by Ryan Howard’s contract.  There is little to no precedent for a player of Ruf’s profile becoming a major league regular so there are no good comparable players to look at to judge how his future will project.

Leandro Castro (23) – Castro signed out of the Dominican in 2007 and has moved up a level a year since.  Castro has average tools across the board (with the exception of his plate discipline) but nothing that profiles as a carrying tool.  He can play some center field but not well enough to profile there defensively as a regular, but he doesn’t hit for enough power or have the walk rate to profile in a corner offensively.  It overall is a fourth outfielder profile as he can play some center at times but he would have to make dramatic improvements to profile as a regular.  In 2013 Castro likely goes to AAA to see if he can improve on enough skills to make it to the major leagues.

Kelly Dugan (22) – Dugan was the Phillies first pick in the 2009 draft (although it was in the second round).  Up until 2012 injuries had derailed his development, and to start 2012 an injury forced him to playing exclusively first base, after he recovered he moved out to RF where he has plenty of arm and range to be above average defensively.  At the plate Dugan had a monster year ending with a final slash line of .300/.387/.470.  He hit a large amount of doubles and they should turn into home runs as he puts on more muscle.  He does strikeout fairly often but it comes with a good walk rate, his batting average was a little driven by a high BABIP but he does make good solid contact.  Dugan will likely go to Clearwater but could move to Reading quickly as he has lost time, but the Phillies could view him as the corner version of Zach Collier another high pick derailed by injuries.

Anthony Hewitt (23) – To say Hewitt has been anything other than a failure as a first round pick would be a lie.  However, he has improved at each level and put up the same line in Clearwater that he did in Lakewood to go along with a career high in walks (yes he drew 9 walks).  Hewitt still has all of the raw tools to be really good and if he can just make enough contact there is still a fourth or five outfielder in there who can run and hit for some power.  Defensively Hewitt has poor instincts but has the speed to play some center and plenty of arm for right field.  In 2013 Hewitt will likely take a step that few saw him taking which is that he will be a starting outfielder for a AA team.

Brian Pointer (20) – Pointer was a over slot late round signing in 2010.  He was very raw when drafted but there are good tools there, he was thought to be an average power guy who could stick in center field.  He has shown more power than that, though at the price of contact issues and swing and miss.  It also appears that Pointer is destined for outfield corner where he will have good range and a good arm.  Pointer will have to show better contact in 2013 where he will likely move to Clearwater because of the logjam of outfielders behind him.

Larry Greene Jr (19) – Greene was the Phillies first pick in the 2011 draft, at the time of the draft he was considered to have the best raw power of any highschooler in the draft.  Greene did not hit homeruns in Williamsport but he was near the league lead in doubles and showed surprising plate discipline.  Greene’s arm limits him to LF, but for now he has the range to stick in the outfield and he showed at least average speed for now.  Greene likely goes to Lakewood to start 2013, if he can hit for power he can rise quickly up the prospect rankings.

Dylan Cozens (18) – Cozens is a hulking power hitting right fielder who the Phillies took with their second round pick in 2012.  Cozens had a great start to his GCL season but tailed off towards the end of the season.  Cozens’ swing generates near elite raw power but it can be long and stiff which causes a lot of swing and miss.  Cozens is plenty athletic currently and can run well, but there is a fear that he will continue to get bigger  which will force him to first base where the bat has to be special.  The good news is that if he can tap into the power consistently it could carry him all the way to the majors.  If Cozens shows up in good shape and has a good spring he could make the jump to Lakewood to start 2013 with a possible return to Williamsport to end the season.

Jose Pujols (17) – Pujols was one of the two high profile Latin American signings by the Phillies in 2012.  He draws some comparisons to former Phillies prospect Domingo Santana as a raw power hitting right field prospect.  Pujols’ raw power has drawn comparisons to Giancarlo Stanton but there are some questions about whether his swing will translate it to game power.  In the field he should be average in a corner but unless he puts on a bunch of weight he should stick in the outfield.  Pujols will begin 2013 in Extended Spring Training befor esticking in Florida for the GCL season.

Cameron Perkins (22) – Perkins was the Phillies 6th round pick in 2012.  He has played all four corners but he is likely stick in the outfield in deference to the young third basemen in the system.  Perkins has a good quick bat that should hit for at least average power and good contact.  He is sometime too aggressive at the plate but it shouldn’t be exposed until the upper levels.  Based on past trends Perkins will likely start in Clearwater in 2013.

The Graduated:

Domonic Brown (25) – Coming into 2010 Brown was one of the top prospects in baseball, after a great first half injuries forced him up to the major league level where he ended up on the bench for the last two months of the season reduced to pinch hitting.  In 2011 he was rated a Top 5 prospect and was on pace to earn a place on the starting roster but a broken hamate bone derailed the start of his season, he did perform well in his return to action and was ultimately sent to the bench again when the Phillies acquired Hunter Pence.  In 2012 he started in AAA and once again struggled with injuries before getting called up when the Phillies traded away Pence.  Brown showed flashes of his previous potential, he may no longer have superstar ceiling but he could definitely be a major league regular.

Questions facing this positional group

Is Ruf actually an OF, and is he going to continue to hit at the major league level?

Can Greene and Cozens stick in the outfield and will they find ways to consistently tap into their raw power?

Is Kelly Dugan back on the prospect radar and starting caliber RF?

Who is Domonic Brown?

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

66 thoughts on “What to Expect in 2013: Corner Outfielders

  1. Like the depth and could have the most potentially explosive prospects at any position other than Quinn. Really excited to see Cozens and Greene’s development. Dugan was a fun follow last year and hopefully he keeps progressing.

  2. I really hope Brown gets regular ABs against righties and lefties this year. I’m not sure how we’re supposed to know who he is if he never gets that opportunity.

  3. What the Phillies did to Brown in 2010 is a textbook case in what not to do with a young prospect. I guess they thought that just being around major leaguers would make him into a major leaguer when getting more at bats in AAA would have been much better. I don’t know f it was a miscommunication between the FO and Manuel where the FO thought Brown would get regular playing time or what but someone should have lost their job over that decision. The string of injuries and especially the power sapping Hamate bone injury have been unfortunate but those things do happen. I was really impressed with the eye and plate discipline Brown showed last year in the majors. I really hope the lack of power was cause by the slow recovery process of the Hamate. I would definitely like him to get every opportunity to show what he can do at this point because the organization needs to know going forward.

    1. Brown definitely still had his natural power last year… He sent a homer into the second deck. What I’m hoping is that his knee heals well in the offseason so he regains his good speed.

    2. Enough with the excuses for Brown and blaming the organization. He is a bust. He will never meet his potential. He will likely be on another team next year. The phillies are moving on from brown. I think we all should.

  4. Make it or break it season for Brown. If he’s hovering around .700 OPS in the first half of the season, I’m expecting him to get shipped out.

  5. I wonder if the Phils look to OF w/ the 16th pick if they don’t plan on signing any other FA’s

    1. The Baseball draft being what it is (players years away from the majors, high failure rate) doing anything other than best player available regardless of position with some consideration for signability is a huge mistake.

  6. I really think Brown can break out this year. Hopefully he’s finally healed and he should be comfortable with his new swing by now. Not sure he has the same power potential that he had with his old swing, but he will hopefully atleast have some XBH power

    1. He has to for this team to do anything. Brown–and Ruf, to a less extent–will need to be sources of power, particularly if the last outfield signing isn’t named Swisher or Hamilton. I’d disagree with Matt that his ceiling is gone–though I’d never have characterized it as “superstar,” I still think he can be a 280/350/450 guy with a great arm, and for half a million bucks that’s a huge value. But he probably needs to hit even more than that for the Phillies to make the playoffs.

      1. I would take that in a heartbeat. His K/BB ratio is still very good. He just needs to simplify his swing- easier said than done.

  7. Hewitt is an interesting one to watch this season. For masochists, anyway. His defense must improve. We know he won’t draw walks but if he accidentally hits 20 home runs and steals 30 bases as a plus defender, he might actually have net positive WAR with an OBP below .300. Think: BJ Upton, jr. I hope the experiment takes a decisive turn for the better in AA.

    Greene jr., Dugan, and Cozens will be fun to follow. If just one of these three emerges as a 2015 corner OF candidate, we’ll have reason to cheer. Truth or mirage? 2012 will tell.

    At the big league level, I am much more excited to see Brown and Ruf than many others. Ruf has a sweet swing, he didn’t hit all those homers by accident. Brown can play. Please no Cody Ross. I’d prefer either Hamilton, Swisher, Ichiro, or a trade for Granderson. Otherwise the corner platoons of Babe Ruf / Brown and Mayberry / Nix work until obtaining a good corner outfielder at the trade deadline. Everybody plays and stays sharp.

    Top priority: starting pitching. Again. Go big or go bullpen. Outfield can sit on the backburner.

  8. I really dont know about war. and other stats people use. I only go by what i have seen, and one ab of ruf. has me really thinking he has a chance, he was fooled on a pitch and still drove it over the centerfielders head, to the base of the wall. he looks like he has really good power.That being said we cant count on this kid to be the power right hand bat. for a team that has world series thoughts..

    1. The ball comes off his bat different than most guys. I still remember an AB at CBP where he hit a linedrive off the CF wall that I don’t think got higher than 15 feet off the ground.

      1. I thought that was a joke and then I looked it up. That’s a huge shortstop. At least Seattle got Langerhans for him . . .

    1. Setting aside the fact that really the only two things they have in common – IF Ruf succeeds at the major league level – is late arriving success and severe defensive limitations in the outfield, I’m not sure as a Ruf fan this is a comparison I would like. Morse is showing signs of being a bit of a one season wonder.

        1. See, here’s an example of where, while you don’t NEED advanced metrics at all for clarity on this point, it helps.

          First of all, let me concede that Morse had a decent half season in 2010. Decent as in “average regular, projected out to a full season.” 2011 of course was the “one year” I was referring to. So maybe more fair would be “year and half wonder.”

          2012, though was a crap year for Morse. It’s obviously true at at glance using advanced metrics, but frankly one shouldn’t need them. Stated simply, a left fielder (mostly) who is not good defensively, is a lousy base runner, and who hits .291/.321/.470 (with a 6 to 1 K/BB ratio) simply does not have a lot of value. (I do understand why people are seduced by the batting average, but he never walks, and his power, though still decent, was significantly down from 2011 and not enough to make up for his other deficiencies).

  9. I hate how the Phillies are handling their prospects. I feel they are very cautious with them in all areas, unwilling to use any of their pitching talent (except when they’d overuse Aumont in the bullpen) and completely mistrusting their young bats. Brown should have been playing full time from his call up, and sitting Ruf all September was disastrous for helping to identify his value.

    Ideally, I’d like to see the Phillies starting Ruf AND Brown, and mixing Ruf in a 1B and LF. I’d get rid of Howard this year or next in favour of Ruf if at all possible, knowing the massive salary swallow it’d be but I cannot justify playing a player because of his contract. I don’t expect him to do anything but decline, but perhaps a hot start or a good streak could slightly raise his value.

    1. Maybe the Phillies of a few years ago but under Jordan they have shown a propensity to challenge their prospects. Cesar Hernandez, Valle, Colvin (not a good example), Pettibone, Asche, even Galvis two years ago, all received in season promotions when they showed they had mastered a level. There’s even been rumors of Franco starting in Reading this year.

  10. As of now, your lineup can look like this


    then in 2014 IF they don’t resign anyone


    Now, I point this out for this reason. They CAN NOT rely on BOTH Brown and Ruf to be middle of the lineup hitters by 2014. Rollins and Revere are top of the order guys, rookies Asche and Joseph can;t be middle of the lineup guys as rookies and Galvis is an 8 hole hitter.

    So..unless you resign Utley or sign Cano next year, they will need a middle of the lineup guy (3 hole) for 2014.

    Well, would you look at that, they need a 5 hole hitter for 2013 as well. How nice would it be to sign or acquire a middle of the lineup guy that can be here for 2013 and beyond.

    1) I would offer Brown, DeFratus, Biddle, Pettibone, Collier, Valle and Galvis for Giancarlo Stanton. Thats right Seven for One.

    2) I would go hard core after Justin Upton

    3) I’d roll the dice with Hamilton

    Keep this in mind, Young, Utley and Chooch make about 20 million dollars combined coming off the books next year. You get a guy like Hamilton now and next year fill those three spots with low cost rookies (Asche, Galvis and Joseph) and you can afford a big time bat. Then the lineup looks so much better in 2013 AND 2014.

    As much as I love coming to this site and reading about these prospects and following them, there is no way any of them will be as good as Stanton or Hamilton or Upton. I would deplete the farm for one of these big guys because when you think about it, how many position players are going to be counted on in the future. Hopefully LF, CF, MI, 3B, C are all occupied by young guys for a couple of years, Howard is signed at first and in theory, you trade the farm for a rightfielder. That would leave you short at the other MI spot…and thats it. In my proposed Stanton deal you still have Franco, Gillies, Couzins, Dugan, Cesar Hernendez, Rupp, L Greene, Pullen, Tocci all on the offensive side of the ball, then Matin, Morgan, Wright, Diekman, Giles, Watson and Gueller on the mound.

    7 for 1…let’s do it.

    1. I wrote about this on another thread already tonight, so I’ll keep this one short: quality =/= quantity. The Phillies have a lot of players on the farm that would be great to add in to a trade to make a deal like this look better, but they don’t have anyone that would be the centerpiece for the deal. So it’s a pipe dream.

        1. I know, sorry, I went off a bit. I was replying to the person above me talking abour Ruf and Brown.

  11. Hewitt’s error rate was really unprecedented…. Dugan is definitely a guy to follow after last year. He’s actually a big strong guy which I didn’t realize. Cozens and Greene of course have serious power potential but they’re facing better pitching than they’ve ever seen before. Perkins could be another interesting guy to follow, we’ll see where they place him.

  12. I’d love to see Cozans and Greene start in Lakewood. They are probably the first prospects since Singleton who you can reasonably hope will be middle of the order threats.

    Can Dugan stick in RF? That would be huge. He’s got an average bat for a LF/1B type, but profiles nicely if he can stick in RF. Any reports?

    1. I kind of want to start a discussion here, as prospects who would you rather have, Greene or Cozens? and why? I know it is really early in their careers, but as you said they’re possible middle of the order threats and that is really exciting, so I’d like to talk about some prospects other than Ruf and Asche.

          1. RF is more valuable than LF and 1B, mostly. Also because the fact that Cozens is in right and Greene is in left means that Cozens has better tools for defense. They both have sky-high potential on power, so that’s a wash. Greene is definitely encouraging with his patience at such a young age, but I’m betting Cozens starts learning how to take a pitch as well because he’ll soon stop seeing anything worth swinging at.

            This is all liquid, though. A good/bad year from either could swing my opinion, but just based on the tools we know they have, as well as the tools we can speculate on, Cozens seems like he’s more likely to provide a lot of value for us.

      1. I think I’ll bet on Larry Greene because his walk rate looks pretty darn good. That’s a good skill to have. They’re both pretty raw but Cozens looks rawer and who knows what will happen with either of them really. Also Greene played slightly tougher competition and in a situation that was very conducive to Homers.

        1. Not disagreeing , but the GCL is a terrible power league as well. I think Greene might be the safer bet, but i feel like Cozens has more upside.

      2. Cozens. They’ve both got big-time power potential in their bats, but the reports I’ve seen indicate that Cozens is more athletic and likely to stick in the OF, where his bat would be more valuable.

        That said, LGJ’s BB rate and OBP were both encouraging considering his supposedly raw skills coming out of high school.

      3. Greene is a better prospect for me because he has more well rounded game. Both are fairly athletic, but from reports Greene is a better athlete who has good speed and range in the outfield (the arm is ok but not great), Cozens is a physical monster but there is a lot of stiffness in the swing and body already. To me Cozens is a guy who at best well be a three true outcome hitter (the best comp I can give is Adam Dunn), which is fine because he should hit baseballs a very long distance. Greene to me has just as much power but a better feel for hitting. He is raw and has the worse frame but has advance plate discipline and to me despite Cozens’ arm has a better chance to stick in the outfield.

    2. RE: Cozens/Greene in Lakewood. I know it’s unlikely, particularly since the Phils now have a 24-year-old CF under control for the foreseeable future, but I would love to see the club get aggressive and give us an OF of Greene/Tocci/Cozens in Lakewood. That would be the most upside in one outfield the Phillies have had in a looooong time …

          1. But it would, indeed, be cool. It would probably also be a pretty bad OF (I could see a rough transition offensively for Tocci and Cozens, and it would be a difficult task asking Tocci to mask the mistakes the other two make while they still learn the intricacies of the OF corners).

            1. Actually would be a pretty good defensive outfield. Tocci is near elite defensively, Greene was a center fielder in high school (kind of surprising actually) and has average to above speed and good range with a on arm, Cozens has good speed right now and a cannon for an arm. Greene and Cozens are close to their peaks defensively right now (they are both likely to get slower as they add muscle), I would worry about the growing pains on offense more.

      1. I think Brian Pointer would be bummed about that, since there’s probably no way he’s starting in Clearwater.

      2. Both these guys were recruited to top notch universities for football (and not as Offensive Lineman). I just would not think they would become ‘unathletic’ as they enter their prime.
        It is possible they focus more on strength than speed for baseball but both should be able to stay in the OF (or at least until AAA).

        I like Greene better thus far, just because I expected him to be super raw. His plate discipline was excellent. I might be even more impressed since he did not ‘press’ when he was not hitting homeruns. I know it is dumb for me to think I can read a players psyche but that tells me he has the right long term approach.
        And due to the football thing (Alabama LB I thought), I figure he will be fine in the OF, where I was not as sure for Singleton who had more fluid baseball skills but maybe less of an athlete..

    3. Dugan is a plus defensive RF already, with speed enough to play a few games in CF. Think of him defensively like John Mayberry, except maybe with a little better arm.

  13. Actual prospects at AAA with Ruf and even Castro. He might actually get a callup in Sept.
    Hewitt keeps moving up. With pitiful defense I doubt he ever gets a Major League shot, but it’d be cool to see. Not sure who the other AA OF is, maybe Lavin.
    Clearwater will have Dugan, Pointer, and Altherr but I think Pointer does get some time in CF also.
    Lakewood will be interesting to see if Cozens gets bumped with Green. Not sure who is in CF but my guess is Eldemire.

    1. Hudson will probably share CF in Lakewood with Eldemere. Greene will be in LF and it will depend on where they put Pointer. AA will probably also include Jiwan James in addition to Collier in CF.

  14. I like Ruf a bit better than Brown right now. That is, I’d rather trade Brown and start Ruf than vice versa. (I’d rather start them both ahead of Nix or Mayberry, but hopefully that will be moot when the Phils get their free agent corner outfielder and he stays healthy.) Brown has had 492 major league plate appearances with a -2 WAR divided about equally between bad fielding and bad hitting. His career minor league slash line is 296/373/461. Ruf has had limited MLB PA, to speak of, but his 3 HR in 33 AB are encouraging and I dare say his 1.079 OPS in 12 games is better than than any 12 game stretch Brown has ever had.in his young 147 game major league career. Ruf’s career minor league slash line 305/386/520 exceed Brown’s in every category, although they are hard to compare since Ruf was older than Brown at every stop. In Brown’s favor is his speed and arm and the fact that he is 1 year younger than Ruf. In Ruf’s favor is that Brown has been more injury prone and has displayed only below average league ability so far. I see Ruf as a professional hitter with power and the ability to draw walks. He’s a good first baseman. Who knows how good a left fielder he will turn out to be, but Brown set that bar pretty low.

  15. Ruf has that nice short, compact swing that should produce a lot of homers. Which they need from the right side. We’ll have to see how bad his defense is.

    As somone said, this is make or break for Brown. The best that can be said for him so far in the majors is that he has a good eye. I’m not optimistic that he will make it.

    1. Well that’s not the ONLY good thing you can say. His contact rate is decent and improving. He has shown some power, if not quite to the extent that some of us hoped for.

      On the other hand, his defense has been sub par (but improving), and his babip has been pretty bad. Now, I’m NOT saying that that is purely a matter of luck, but as a prospect Brown looked like someone who could have a better than average BABIP because of a line drive stroke and speed. It hasn’t worked out that way, to a pretty extreme degree. I think there are a lot of reasons to expect a better babip in 2013 – the injuries seems to effect his speed (IF hit percentage was 10% in 2011, a very good figure, but only a mediocre 5.6% in 2012) and his line drive rate was over 20%. A fast guy with a line drive rate over 20% should babip at least the league average, which is around .300, much better than his career .269. Hopefully he can also continue to improve as a fielder.

      Bill Jame’s system, which tends for most players to be on the optimistic side, projects .274/.347/.445. I am not going to venture a prediction myself, but I’d love to see Brown match that and think he can.

      There’s no guarantees with Brown, but I still think he’s likely to be at least a solid regular and perhaps more. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do this year, hopefully fully healthy for the first time in his major league career. If he doesn’t produce this year, he likely will get another chance – but with a different organization.

      1. Agreed. In addition to being jerked around, Brown has been unlucky. If he can stay healthy he’s a much better player than we’ve seen so far.

      2. I think the only negative about Brown so far is that he did not produce at a high level after Pence was traded away. Otherwise, Brown has been a victim of circumstances.

        Brown has not earned yet a starting OF job, but I think he soon will be worthy of a starting job, if not more.

        1. Anybody have any off-season reports on Brown? How did the procedures go on his knee? What is he doing as far as working out? Et al. You would think one philly beat writer could keep people posted on their players thru the off-season.

  16. Okay, i will be the non stat man. and imo brown, will never be a great player, or even a good one. he cant hit the fastball. and that is from watching him a lot. he is late on good fastballs, so i will be the one with no facts, but my eyes to say he will be a 250 hitter with bad defense, like a lesser version of the guy from francisco who we just let go, damm cant remember how to spell his name.at least that guy could play a little defense/

    1. I will admit, Brown’s bat looked slow at times and he would foul off or make weak contact on pitches he should be driving. But, I also saw 3-4 different swings out of him, including the short compact swing he showed in LHV early in the year which should be able to handle any fastball. I suspect that the knee injury messed him up enough at the plate that he didn’t have a consistent swing and you could see it get slow starting and long and loopy, however at times he did have a good quick swing. I would like to see him fully healthy before I declare that a 25 year old has lost all of his bat speed.

      When it comes to his defense he has improved dramatically he is now close to average in both corners, slightly better in left, and he has added some accuracy to what was already plus arm strength. The metrics still say his range is below average but by observation we can see that has to do with route running which he has improved on so we can expect him to continue and be at least average range wise with a plus arm.

      1. There is still a ton to like about Brown. Brown has improved in the outfield considerably – the hope is that he gets to the point where he grades out as being average – anything more would be a plus. He has an outstanding arm (I was at a game when he nailed a runner at home from right fielder – it was breathtaking). He was hurt last year but his speed is well above average. Brown has excellent plate discipline and hand-eye coordination at the plate, with great ability to change his swing plane mid-swing to barrell up the ball. He draws more than his fair share of walks. I think the lack of power we saw earlier this year was due to hesitancy. Brown was just trying to make contact and not do too much. I think, as much as any player, Brown needs to get into a rhythm and play every day or almost every day. Once he does, he’ll be fine. I’m not sure his upside is still as an all-star but if not, it’s still pretty close to that.

  17. Can’t we just see what Brown will do if actually given the chance to be the guy? Plan B can always be Mayberry and a LH platoon guy (could have been Schierholtz, but for some reason, Nix was signed to a 2-year deal a year ago)?

  18. Matt my view is that, i never saw that bat speed. even the homruns he hit last year, to my knowledge were on offspeed pitches. maybe its his knee, but for now. imo, he has a hole and its a big hole, when it comes to fastballs.

    1. Brown is a breaking ball hitter, he looks for his pitch and for the most part will keep back and foul off pitches he can’t drive. Yes he has a hole up and in against premium velocity, please find me a whole list of players that can catch up to that pitch (I’ll give you a hint the only ones I have seen on the Phillies are Utley, Ruiz who mashes fastballs, and Ibanez who has a good knowledge of when they are coming and was good at cheating). You can make all of the same assesments on Ruf’s swing, the difference is Ruf has a tendancy to cheat on fastballs and Brown stays back giving him better plate discipline and reaction to good offspeed pitches.

      1. Guys who consistently handle good fastballs either sacrifice breaking ball contact or take the really good FB up the middle or to the opposite field. Brown occasionally showed good opposite-field power with FBs.

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