For the first two weeks of the season, Philadelphia outfielder Ben Francisco was a nice story. Francisco was hitting .308/.386/.513 on April 12 with two homers and a steal, and he was looking suspiciously like a fantasy asset. But following another 0-fer on Sunday night, he's batting just .232/.341/.384. Hardly the sort of production that any team expects from a corner outfielder. (OK, the Pads might take it, but that's it).
Francisco is 1-for-18 so far in May, without an RBI. No, he hasn't had much luck on balls-in-play this season — his line drive percentage is 19.1, his BABIP just .244 — but the Phillies don't have much invested in this player, and they happen to have a prospect-of-interest who's killing the ball at Triple-A.
Domonic Brown, a much-discussed 23-year-old, has gone 9-for-22 in his first six games at Lehigh Valley, with a pair of homers, one steal, five RBIs, and seven runs scored. Brown has at least one hit in every game with the IronPigs, and he's had success against both righties and lefties. You'll recall that he entered 2011 as a breakout candidate, but a broken hamate bone — a tricky injury, one that tends to limit power — temporarily delayed the takeover. Brown seems to have recovered nicely. The home runs he's hitting aren't exactly wall-scrapers according to eye witness accounts. Instead, they're bombs.
Last season, in 93 games across two minor league levels, Brown hit .327/.391/.587 with 20 homers and 17 steals, a performance that vaulted him into the top-five in everyone's 2011 prospect ranks. He's owned in only 16 percent of Yahoo! leagues right now, yet both Francisco and Raul Ibanez (.613 OPS) are scuffling. If you've got the bench space, make the add. Even if you can't make room for Brown in your fake outfield, you'll have an ideal trade chip on your hands when he re-arrives in Philly.
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