This tweet from ESPN's Jim Bowden made me sick to my stomach when I saw it, and I'm not even a Phillies fan.
So unless Domonic Brown, a former top five prospect who was slow out of the gates because he broke his hand last season, wows the Phillies in the spring, he's spending his season in AAA.
How in the hell is this effective for his development? Brown had a .760 OPS in AAA Lehigh Valley last season, his second season with time at the level. In 69 games at AAA, Brown has a .298/.391/.453 line with 36 walks and 56 strikeouts. Those really aren't bad numbers at all. In the majors, the hand injury gave him problems, but he still managed a .245/.333/.391 line. All things considered, that's not terrible. But yet, Amaro would rather have a platoon of John Mayberry Jr and Laynce Nix starting every day.
2011 was the only good season of his career. He hit .273/.341/.513 with 15 homers in just 296 plate apperances, amassing 2.5 fWAR. But Mayberry showed some pretty vicious platoon splits, with a .953 OPS against lefties and a .785 OPS against righties last season. For his career, those numbers are .945 against lefties and .762 against righties. Mayberry is much more effective against lefties and righties, but by no means is he useless against righthanders. So why platoon him with Nix?
I really can't answer that. Nix has a .288 career OBP, checking in at .299 with the Nationals last year. He's got good pop, with a .185 career ISO, and is an above average defender in left, clocking in at +22 DRS over his career. Last season against right-handers, Nix had a .781 OPS (compared to just .411 against southpaws), and for his career, that mark is at just .747. Is a .747 OPS with a .296 OPS really worth starting in a platoon? Uh, I don't think so.
Giving a journeyman bench player like Nix a chance to play most days out of the week while Brown rots in AAA is an awful move for the Phillies. I can understand the logic of wanting to play Mayberry more often after his fantastic 2011 campaign, but why in the hell is Brown not getting a chance? It's ridiculous. I'm stunned that with Amaro's fetish of trading prospects, Brown somehow avoided being dealt. He probably would have earned more in a return than prospects like Jarred Cosart or Jonathan Singleton, but yet, he stays, the crown jewel of a mid-tier farm system with no opportunities in the majors. It sucks for him, and is a really bad situation. I don't know just what the hell Amaro is thinking, not only by making this decision, but by announcing it in the middle of January. Why should Brown give a damn if he knows the team's mind is made up already? Amaro has backed the Phillies into a corner with Brown, and at the end of the day, I think it's going to end with the former top prospect leaving the City of Brothery Love.
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