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Domonic Brown very average after hot streak
by Scott Butler 8/27/13

Which stat lines represent Domonic Brown's offensive statistics since his hot streak unofficially ended on June 8 ?

a) .275 AVG, 12 HR, 48 RBI

b) .280 AVG, 5 HR, 40 RBI

c) .256 AVG, 8 HR, 33 RBI

d) .239 AVG, 4 HR, 19 RBI

The correct answer is c. Since June 8, Domonic Brown is hitting .256 with 8 HR and 33 RBI in 56 games. Here are his stats in the last 56 games.

Domonic Brown Since June 8
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
56 232 211 25 54 9 2 8 33 2 2 18 42 .256 .310 .431 .742

Work those numbers over a full season and he would have a .256 average, .310 on-base percentage, 23 home runs, and 95 RBI. His RBI total is nice but the rest of his numbers are mediocre. What we have with DoBo over the last two plus months is a player with a low batting average, fairly decent power, good production, a reasonable number of strikeouts, and an average amount of walks.

What should we make of those numbers?

Do they mean that his hot stretch was just a fluke and this is the real Domonic Brown?

Do they portray a player who is facing his "sophomore slump" right now and he is simply hanging in there as pitchers adjust to him?

Is this just a typical lull in a long season with another dominant month ahead of him?

If you hope to find an answer using statistics, I wish you the best of luck because DoBo's stats will spin you around like a Tilt-a-Whirl. Here is a guy who, when given his first real chance to start on a big league team, began the season hitting .233 with 3 HR and 11 RBI in the first month. Then, all of a sudden, he caught fire and had the hottest of hot streaks for over a month. Since then he has been caught somewhere in between and mired in mediocrity.

With such disparity over significant periods of time, I'm not so sure Brown can truly answer any questions in the last couple months, either. Don't forget that Brown is still a very young player. It seems like he has been here forever, but he is nearly a year younger than Darin Ruf (11 months to be exact) and has roughly the same number of minor league plate appearances (44 more) even though Ruf played in college. Believe it or not, DoBo played 45 less minor league games than Jimmy Rollins and logged 262 less plate appearances.

Not only is Domonic Brown still inexperienced, but he also has been up and down from the minors several times (this is his 4th trip to the big leagues) and has dealt with numerous injury issues that sidetracked his progress. That might explain why he chuckled when asked in Spring Training whether this was his last shot.

Even if we ignore the statistics (since they won't do us much good anyway), the conundrum that is Domonic Brown continues to baffle with his play on the field. While there are many positive signs with Dom, there are an equal amount of red flags to his game.

Red Flags

His swing is still long. DoBo can certainly hit the fastball, but he still has a tough time catching up to some harder fastballs, especially high ones.

He takes a lot of pitches but works just an average amount of walks.  What gives?

He has made several mental mistakes. Two balls dropped between him and Mayberry (and guess who I blame?), he was thrown out recently trying to stretch a single into a double late in the game, and he tried to steal last week without even taking a lead, just to name a few.

Positive signs

He works hard. A local reporter (can't remember who) claimed Brown watches the most video on the team outside of Chase Utley.

He sees the ball well, evidenced by his ability to lay off tough breaking balls.

His defense is WAY better than expected (even though he still looks like he wearing a righties glove).

His hot streak demonstrated his amazing raw talent.

He says all the right things and carries himself like a big leaguer, for whatever that is worth.

The future is, uh, the future

If Brown replicates his recent offense over the entire 2014 season, the Phillies will have a solid hitter who can contribute. But they will not have an impact player and not the player to replace Ryan Howard's production down the road. He will just be a nice piece of the puzzle. No more, no less. It may not matter much if Darin Ruf and Cody Asche perform as we hope, but those are two gargantuan if's.

Domonic Brown's biography continues to be a mystery novel with many blank pages left to fill. So maybe we are forced to simply be fans and do what fans do. Hope.

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