Phillies’ Brown Might Be Reflecting Jeff Stone’s Perceived Potential: Fan Opinion

The Philadelphia Phillies outfield seems set for the 2012 season.

Brown was selected by the Phillies in the twentieth round of the 2006 draft.
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Domonic Brown can't be found among that gathered crowd. Is that because his team has recognized that he is a modern version of Jeff Stone?

A stone's throw away

The six foot five inch, 205 pound Brown has more power and less speed than the six foot, 175 pound Stone did. The point to be made isn't a comparison of their physical attributes, or of their exact talents, but of the similar manner in which both were initially presented to the baseball world.

For all new school fans, Stone was a highly touted Phillies prospect back in the 1980s.

The Missouri native was selected by Philadelphia in the 1979 free agent draft. He spent parts of 13 seasons in the minor leagues and played a total of 372 games, over parts of eight seasons in the major leagues for the Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox.

His career minor league totals included: a .287 batting average, 51 home runs, 422 RBI's, 758 runs scored, 525 stolen bases, a .755 OPS (on base + slugging percentage) and a .964 fielding percentage.

His career major league totals included: a .277 batting average, 11 home runs, 72 RBI's, 129 runs scored, 75 stolen bases, a .702 OPS and a .963 fielding percentage.

Brown is slated to begin this season with Ryne Sandberg's Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, who are the Phillies Triple A affiliate.

In parts of six minor league seasons Brown has produced these overall totals: a .294 batting average, 53 home runs, 251 RBI's, 291 runs scored, 101 stolen bases, an .834 OPS (on base + slugging percentage) and a .958 fielding percentage.

Since first appearing on the Phillies major league roster in 2010, he has played in 91 games. That small sample size doesn't yet allow a firm conclusion to be drawn about his future. His big league totals thus far include: a .236 batting average, 7 home runs, 32 RBI's, 36 runs scored, 5 stolen bases, a .696 OPS and a .955 fielding percentage.

Future prospects

Brown is 24 and will obviously be given time to produce. Whether that happens at the major league in a Phillies uniform is an open question.

Producing good numbers at Triple A this year will either earn him another chance to call Citizens Bank Park home, or result in his promise being used as part of a future trade package.

If Ruben Amaro, Jr. does eventually trade him, expect the other team's general manager to provide some type of reasonable return that justifies Brown's hyped potential.

Positive influences

Like most people who enjoy the game, my awareness of and appreciation for baseball was influenced by those who I was around while I was growing up.

My Dad and I would play catch in the backyard on the weekends. My cousins and friends would play pickup games whenever we had the chance to do so.

One of those positive influences was and is my cousin Patrick. A recent conversation that we had about Brown caused me to think about Stone. Patrick pointed out that someone has to be smart to play at the big league level. That's a great point to always keep in mind when considering anyone's potential.

Someone can have physical skills and also be a decent person. But, those elements don't represent a complete equation or the final solution that leads to success. Most major league players consistently demonstrate that they have the mental makeup to answer all challenges.

The Phillies have become a competitive team because they have made many smart moves over the years. So, it will be interesting to see what their decisions reveal about Brown's true potential as this season unfolds.

Sean O'Brien was born in the Philadelphia region. He has written professionally for over two decades. Read his Sports Blog: Insight and follow him on Twitter @ SeanyOB

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Updated Friday, Jan 20, 2012