Phillies Opening Day Rightfielder, Dominic Brown…Don’t Be Shocked

Spring time is on its way and that means the Phillies are at Spring Training. Soon the birds will be singing again and the flowers will bloom and winter coats will be put away for a while. All of those wonderful occurrences are synonymous with spring and therefore with spring training also. Anyway that is not what this article is about although after this treacherous winter I probably could go on about spring time forever.

Let’s get back on topic shall we. Spring Training means position battles. It is time for the players to fight over who should start vs. who should ride the bench and who should ride the bench vs. who should go to AAA. Although the Phillies major league club does not have a ton of position battles, there is of course one spot that certainly needs to be filled. That spot is right field.

There are two candidates to take over in right field for the bearded one, Jayson Werth. The matchup is Ben Francisco vs. Dominic Brown. You have the young major leaguer in Francisco who has some experience and who has definitely shown some flashes of good potential both as a bench player for the Phillies and as a starter in Cleveland. Francisco is a righty and seems to be most people’s pick to win the job on the grounds that he’s a little more experienced and that he would add a righty to a very left leaning lineup.

In the other corner there is the unproven one, Dominic Brown. The premiere prospect who showed Phillies fans a few glimpses of the potential that he has late last season. He showed that he can certainly put the ball in the Citizens Bank Park seats and he has a cannon arm that any outfielder would hope for. He has pop, speed and a good glove; all of which are attributes of any five tool player. He has also had his down times. He slumped a little bit at the plate with the Phillies but the organization chalked that up to too few plate appearances. He also struggled in the Dominican during winter ball but the belief is that he was a bit under the weather.

Now is the time to see who will emerge as the starter. Sure, a platoon situation is certainly possible but everyone knows that there is only one starter and that player will emerge eventually.

Do not be surprised if the player in right for the majority of games is wearing number 9. Why you ask?

Well, it is not something that you can exactly sum up in numbers and stats or examples. It is just a gut feeling. This is a Phillies team known for taking chances that other teams might not take for example, signing a stud pitcher when you already have a fantastic 1,2,3. If Dominic Brown has a spring training similar to the one he had last year, Charlie could very well start him and Charlie would not be opposed to leaning the lineup to the left.

Dominic Brown has been in Clearwater for 10 weeks already working on his game and tweaking his swing. The Phillies believe that they have found the problem. Remember that long swooping swing that Brown had last season? Brown and the team believe that was due to him holding his hands way too high and if you remember they were up around the top of his head. He has now brought his hands down a considerable bit and has admitted that he was unaware of how high they really were. If that kid had pop holding his hands in the wrong spot, imagine what he’ll do now.

Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News appeared on Comcast Sportsnet and voiced the opinion that he would start Brown in AAA if it were up to him. That may be the old fashion way to run a baseball club and there is not anything wrong with that. It may be the way that a team operates that is looking to win a championship 2 or 3 years down the line, but that is not the Phillies. The Phillies are ready to win now and they are going to put the best players on the field regardless of their level of experience. If Brown is the best, he will be on the field.

Brown also did an interview with CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury and he mentioned that he understands that he could end up in AAA but he is gunning for a spot on the big club. He said that “I’m ready to win this job. Physically and mentally, I’m ready to go. I’d run through a wall right now.”

All of those things are things that you want to hear from any young prospect. Dominic Brown is saying the right things, doing the right things and could certainly win that job in right field. Being that this is a nickname kind of town, how about UPS for Dominic Brown? Get it? “What can Brown do for you?” Phillies fans should get their answer soon.

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