Update: Domonic Brown and B.J. Rosenberg have both been re-assigned to minor league camp.
Ryan Howard called him the "Total Package." Top prospect Domonic Brown earned the nickname from the "Big Piece" today, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI while reaching base in all four of his plate appearances against the Tigers at Bright House Field.
While one of Brown's home runs appeared to be aided by a fan who reached over the fence and caught the ball in his hat, there was no doubt about the one he hit off Tigers ace Justin Verlander. In the second inning, Brown crushed a two-strike fastball from the righthander, sending it sailing over the berm in right-center field and out of the ballpark.
"I've seen him take batting practice," Howard said of the lean-but-strong 6-foot-5 corner outfielder. "His height, and he's pretty built, so I'm not surprised at all. The leverage that he uses, I'm not surprised. He's got pop. He's got pop to all fields."
The Phillies had dispatched the rest of their young non-roster invitees on Saturday, sending them back to minor league camp to continue their development. But they held on to Brown, who at 22 years old is ranked the 15th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America.
Brown had already impressed the Phillies this spring, both with his arm (he has three outfield assists), and his bat. But he had yet to flash the power that the organization believes he will continue to develop. That changed today, against a hard-throwing righthander who is one of the top pitchers in the American League, and later against established lefty specialist Phil Coke.
Brown also legged out a bases-loaded infield single for his third RBI of the day. Later, he reached base on a walk.
Brown is now 10-for-24 with two doubles, two home runs, and seven RBI.
"Verlander's the proverbial ace of the Tigers, and you go out there and you have a good AB against their ace, that does big things for you," Howard said. "I think he's kind of starting to see that he can play at this level. . ."