If there is one guy I have been following relatively closely throughout this year in case I wanted to pick up a bat, it has been Domonic Brown. In his first year as a starter and his hype at an all-time low, he is available in most leagues and can be had at really any time. To me, now is the time to pick him up and give him an opportunity.
Most managers are battling injuries at this time. Hopefully you have a flexible roster and can plug in a player at really any position by moving players with multi-position eligibility around. If you haven’t hopefully you are looking for an outfielder or utility option.
So far this year, Brown has only really showed off his power – with eight home runs in just under 180 plate appearances. ZiPS has him on pace for 22 long balls, with an additional eight steals which would put him into double digits. If someone told you before the season to grab a 22 homer, 10 steal player that’s in his first full season as a major leaguer, I think you would hop on the train. I at least hope you would.
Six of Brown’s eight homers have come this month, and he just missed a homer in Miami last night – he ended up with an RBI triple. That pushed his season long wRC+ to 97, after slugging .507 this month. In April, Brown slugged just .372, so he has shown improvements as of late. Interestingly, he has not walked this month, so he appears to have had more success with the bat when he has been more aggressive. It is far too early to say if that is a true trend, and of course we want him to walk a decent amount so he is on base frequently, but many were calling for him to be more aggressive at the plate and so far that has produced some solid results.
With an ISO near .194 and a BABIP at a low .262 (he has a career .267 mark in 668 plate appearances), there are reasons to believe his power should remain near its current levels and his average should rise at least a bit. If he can get to a point, right around .260 or so, where his average doesn’t kill your fantasy team’s, then there really is not much reason to leave him on the waiver wire.
While his numbers are not entirely dissimilar to what we have seen from Brown in the past, the power improvement he has shown over the past month shows progress. His swing looks smooth and he looks like he has the confidence of a player who expects to be a MLB regular for quite some time. I am looking to pick up Brown in most leagues right now in hopes I end up with quite a steal. I think you should do the same.
Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.