Domonic Brown has tunnel vision. The Phillies' addition of Delmon Young never mattered to Brown.
The one-time top prospect doesn't care if the 'can't miss' label has been stripped from his Darryl Strawberry-esque physique. Brown only sees one thing, a corner outfield gig when the bell rings Opening Night (April 1) in Atlanta.
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"That's what I'm going for," Brown said. "That's what I'm hoping to achieve."
The laidback Brown blasted a homer in the fourth inning — his third dinger of the Grapefruit League campaign — to help the Phillies beat the Blue Jays 13-5 Sunday afternoon at Bright House Field.
Brown has shown that he has made considerable strides. Not only has he hit for power this spring, his average (.350) and pitch selection has been good. His 1.369 OPS is off the charts.
"I'm just having fun out there," Brown said. "I'm playing hard, but I'm relaxed. I've never felt as good as I do this spring. I mean that as far as all facets of the game go."
Brown has been playing error-free ball in the field, too. His lone gaffe was a base-running blunder last Thursday against the Braves.
"I love to hit, but it's not just about hitting," Brown said. "You have to be able to come through with all aspects of the game. That's my goal. I'm trying to become a complete player and I want to help this team this year."
Aaron Cook started Sunday's split squad game. The former Rockie was roughed up for seven hits (four runs, three earned) in four innings.
Coming of age
Ryan Howard once called Domonic Brown 'the total package.' But he was less than impressive last spring when he was trying to win a starting job. Brown struggled in the field and showed no plate discipline.
Fast forward to 2013 and Brown looks like he may have put it all together. He listens, works hard and his baseball IQ has jumped dramatically. The Phillies need an offensive boost from someone — and Brown is stating his case so far this spring.