MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 19: Domonic Brown #9 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a bases clearing double in the top of the 3rd inning against the Milwaukee Brewers putting the Phillies up 5-0 over the Brewers at Miller Park on August 19, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
When Domonic Brown was called up at the trade deadline, the expectations were tempered. One, because, in the eyes of some, Brown did not adequately prove his top prospect status in his previous – albeit brief – tours with the team. Two, because he wasn't exactly killing the ball in the minor leagues.
Through 18 games, the 24-year-old hasn't given the fans too many reasons to cheer. After all, coming into Sunday's game against the Brewers, he had zero homers, plus a line of .238/.324/.286. Not too impressive, by anyone's standards, and a performance that has certainly brought out the critics.
But Brown silenced them on Sunday, when he went 3-for-4 with a double, four RBIs, a walk, and two runs, as he proved to be the engine that drove the Phillies' offense. It was the second four-RBI performance of his career, and his first since nearly two years ago.
And as a big fan of Dom, I was really happy to see him be such a huge part of the offensive outburst, given that he's been viewed as a bit of an under-performer so far. But in truth, Dom has been productive this season, even if you can't tell by looking at the back of his baseball card. While his power isn't there yet – he has only four extra base hits this season, he consistently works the opposing pitchers and doesn't give away any of his at bats, and his keen eye is the reason he is one of the leaders on the team in pitches-per-plate-appearance since his call up.
While most folks look at homers and RBIs and batting average to determine the value of a hitter, there is far, far more at play. His power is going to come back, and as long as he keeps on driving the ball like has been, his offense is going to be a lot closer to .300 than to .200. And provided that he keeps having the kinds of at-bats that he's been having, you can expect him to be on base more than most other players on the team.
Although it was just one game, the results were definitely encouraging, and with any any luck, Dom will be the offensive star that everyone thought he was going to be when he was first called up in 2010.