Two Weeks Later, No Progress for Domonic Brown

On April 5, about a week into the 2014 season, I noted that pitchers were continuing a trend started last season by throwing Domonic Brown pitches mostly low and outside. Over a handful of at-bats to that point, Brown hadn’t done much about it.

More than two weeks later, nothing has changed. Pitchers are still peppering the outside corner and Brown has been pulling a lot of weak ground balls, making him one of the Phillies’ least reliable offensive contributors thus far.

Here are a bunch of heat maps illustrating the issue:

The specific breakdown of pitches by horizontal location:

  • 14.3% inside
  • 25.0% middle
  • 60.7% away

By vertical location:

  • 3.6% up
  • 53.6% middle
  • 42.9% down

Brown has still been making a concerted effort to only swing at pitches he can reach:

But he’s driving nearly everything into the ground:

As a result, he has hit for almost no power whatsoever:

Brown’s 53.8 percent ground ball rate ties for the 18th-highest in the National League, and he’s been pulling nearly all of them. Teams will have to consider shifting him nearly as often as they shift Ryan Howard. His ground ball hit chart:

Brown thus far has posted an .079 isolated power, well below last season’s .222 showing. In fact, an ISO that low is Ben Revere-esque, as Revere has a career .045 ISO. In 2013, Brown was the backbone of the Phillies’ offense, but pitchers have figured out a way to approach him, and it’s been working out better than they ever could have hoped. With the first month of the regular season nearly complete, the 26-year-old Brown has to make some adjustments. Otherwise, the Phillies will simply be carrying dead weight in the lineup.

Leave a Reply

*

9 comments

  1. crow

    April 21, 2014 12:11 PM

    Last April was a pretty pedestrian month for Brown, too. So let’s hope. The difference is he hit pretty uniformly to all fields. Likewise, his highest GB rate of last season was in his best power month, May. It was nearly as high as it is at the moment. The difference is he was peppering left field, not right. It would be interesting to know what input he’s getting from the hitting coach. He reportedly loved working with Backman last year.

    • crow

      April 21, 2014 12:12 PM

      Should have said “right field, not left.”

    • crow

      April 21, 2014 12:15 PM

      Sigh. And Joyner, not Backman. Wrong Wally.

  2. Rich Baxter

    April 21, 2014 07:08 PM

    Maybe last year was a fluke?

  3. Mark66

    April 22, 2014 02:56 PM

    This sounds exactly like Howard. He swings at that low and away pitch and misses 99% of the time. You would think he would learn after it happening over, and over, and over again. But he doesn’t learn which means he either needs glasses or he just can’t judge that pitch, which means he shouldn’t be in the big league very long. The other answer is that he LEARNS how to hit or let the pitch go. Yes easier said than done, but this is what he gets paid to do or you trade or release him.

  4. dick thon

    April 23, 2014 09:25 PM

    looked pretty good last night, bill.

  5. bob weissman

    June 25, 2014 11:14 PM

    I could put up with his lack of hitting if he could simply catch the ball. I have followed baseball since I was 9 I’m now 72. He is the worst fielder I Have ever seen. Even worse than Ryan Howard and that’s saying something. A long time prospect who has never turned out. I’d package him and Mayberry another longtime bum and get whatever I could for the pair. The Phillies originally had him in right field and he stunk up the place. They moved him to left a easier position to play and balls sail over his head, balls other outfielders catch. It is time for the Phills to admit he was a major mistake. Fortunately he doesn’t make 25 million a year like Howard. Dump him as soon as possible.

  6. bob weissman

    June 25, 2014 11:21 PM

    Dominick Brown is the worst fielder I have ever seen. I’ve been following baseball for 63 years. He is a prospect that is a total failure. Had one decent year and now back to his old ways. His hitting is poor but his fielding is even worse. He can’t judge balls hit his way by the time he moves ball is past him. To bad you can’t play little league after the age of 12. I think he could be a hit there.

Next ArticleMinor League Notes, Maikel Franco Klonopin