He was supposed to be the next big slugger and a really important part of his team's offense. After an offensive explosion of home runs and putting together a season that would put him on the map, he struggled. What seemed like a prolific power hitter and anchor in the lineup, he is now hitting in the .220s and hitting as low as seventh in the batting order, no longer fifth where he once thrived.
Who am I describing? Take your pick: Josh Reddick or Domonic Brown.
Reddick and Brown have a lot in common. They were once very highly-thought of prospects. Both had a big year: Reddick hit 32 home runs in 2012 and Brown hit 27 in 2013. Both are left-handed outfielders. Both now find themselves hitting in the .220s and falling out of favor with their respective teams.
This article from April about "Josh Reddick's Perpetual Slump" sounds a lot like we are reading about Brown. Both had issues with their swing:
“I like his swing now more than I did in spring training,” Davis said. “In the spring he was trying to adjust his stroke to keep it short. Now he’s gotten to the point where he understands how it feels to repeat the stroke each at-bat. He understands his swing.”
Brown finding his swing was something Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg also commented on:
"Oftentimes it's a two-way conversation, a two-way street. If there was something Dom was doing last year, that's up to him to have a conversation," Sandberg said. "I've found through my years, I just had to do some of the talking on how I felt and where I wanted to be and the coaches help you with that process."
So, how about a swap of the two, a change of scenery? The Athletics and the Phillies could each get a fresh start with a similarly-performing player. In terms of age, both were born in 1987. Position? Both are corner outfielders.
The Phillies and Texas Rangers both had a first round pick each that was not working out: the Phillies had Greg Golson and the Rangers had John Mayberry Jr. Similar players, the two teams swapped them in hopes they would find their way. Golson did find some major league service time with the Rangers and the Yankees, and Mayberry has been an extra man for the Phillies since. In that case it's fair to say it worked out for the Phillies.
Why not give it a shot again, just with two more prominent players?