Brown hit a solo homer in Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Yankees that Jimmy Rollins called "the longest ball I've ever seen hit [at Brighthouse Field]." In four spring games, Brown is 3-for-7 with two homers. Going back to the intrasquad game last Friday, he's 5-for-9 with two homers and two doubles.
It could be nothing, or it could be the start to something substantive in Brown's make-or-break year. He credited a tip first-year assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner gave him early in camp to speed his swing up. Jim Salisbury describes the adjustment Joyner and Brown made.
This is shaping up to be Brown's first full spring. He played six exhibition games in each of the last two seasons before going down with different right hand injuries.
In 2010 he hit .417 with a pair of doubles and homers in 11 spring games. It was the last time he started his season off right, and it was the best season of his pro career. He hit .327 with a .980 OPS for Reading and Lehigh Valley and earned his first call-up to the bigs.
It's four spring games. But Brown's fast start and Joyner's impact on a fellow lefty are positive developments early in camp. The one thing we all seem to subconsciously count out when looking at the future of these Phillies is Brown realizing his potential at 25. If it happens and the Phillies go into the 2013 season with six healthy, capable bats in the lineup (and seven when Carlos Ruiz returns), a recovered Mike Adams and Hamels-Lee-Halladay, you'll regret not taking the over at 84½.