Domonic Brown has been tearing up the minors once again and his return is inevitable. Still, there’s a large contingent of Phillies fans that have absolutely no faith in him because of his lackluster 70 plate appearances last year, a good portion of which came as a pinch hitter.

They’d rather just sit and hope the trio of Ibanez, Mayberry and Francisco hold the fort down.

In Ibanez’s case I find it hard to believe Brown can be any worse than a .232/.289/.360 line along with terrible defense. Only one player in baseball, Juan Pierre, has put up a worse WAR.

Sure, Brown struggled in his very limited time in the majors last year going .210/.257/.355 and 24 strikeouts. To many, apparently that is enough to label his a bust. Apparently, no other prospect who has started his career off poor has ever amounted to anything.

If you don’t start out like Pujols or Braun, you won’t be good. As we all know, Jeff Francouer and his .432/.439/.827 line his first 82 plate appearances is a bona fide star and future hall of famer.

Many players in the past have proven you can have a bad start to your career and still be a great player.

Willie Mays 32 26 .038 .219 .154
Mickey Mantle 56 51 .216 .273 .333
Eddie Matthews 61 58 .224 .262 .397
Ryne Sandberg 96 90 .189 .213 .278
Cal Ripken Jr. 40 39 .128 .150 .128
Rickey Henderson 201 179 .246 .301 .291
Pete Rose 45 38 .158 .273 .211

If it was up to Phillies fans’ criteria, Mike Schmidt would never have deserved to be a starter after hitting under .200 through his first two years and 483 plate appearances. He turned out to be a nice player.

The same goes for Chase Utley, whose .221/.277/.337 start in 94 plate appearances didn’t foretell a future best-in-the-league second baseman. 

With the Padres, Shane Victorino was awful in his first big league season as well—hitting .151/.232/.178 in 83 plate appearances. 

Young guys prospects like Domonic Brown need at bats. That’s the only way they will get better and prove how good they are. You don’t become a top prospect in baseball by accident. He has the athletic ability and skill to prove his shortsighted doubters wrong.

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