Breakout player picks for 2013
March, 19, 2013
By Keith Law | ESPN.com
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsWith a revamped swing, Domonic Brown is poised to fulfill his potential.Every year there are a few players whom I expect, for scouting reasons or for analytical ones, to take some kind of step or leap forward in performance. I've got eight such names for 2013, with varying degrees of confidence that I try to explain in the comments below.
One thing you'll notice is that all of these players appeared at some point on my Top 100 prospects rankings, with only one failing to appear in the top 50 at least once. That's another way of saying that the skills that made me rate the player highly as a prospect are still largely intact, but now some developmental hurdles that held him back have now cleared -- or so I hope.
The Phillies have been messing with his swing since he first emerged as a prospect, but it looks like they might have found a formula, as new hitting coach Wally Joyner has altered the position of Brown's hands. Execs and scouts are telling me Brown looks noticeably better at the plate, and better able to drive the ball. He's still well below average on defense, but if he starts hitting and the Phillies don't try to re-re-rework his swing in late April, he'll hold on to the left-field job.