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Detroit Tigers: Domonic Brown the Perfect Low-Risk Addition

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In case you haven’t noticed, the Detroit Tigers have yet to add a bona fide left fielder. The Cameron Maybin acquisition was an especially shrewd one, but Maybin is best suited in center field. The last time the outfielder played in left field was in 2007 when he was a rookie with the Tigers and Miguel Cabrera was still a member of the then-Florida Marlins.

In other words, he may not be the answer in left field. Anthony Gose and Tyler Collins are the other internal options to fill the positon, but Gose has only played 41 games at the position while Collins may not be ready for a full-time role.

The Tigers obviously need help in left field.  

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Enter Domonic Brown.

Yes, that Domonic Brown. The same one who hit .233 over the past two years for the hapless Philadelphia Phillies. The same player who has a grand total of 15 home runs since the start of 2014 despite being heralded as a middle-of-the-order bat.

Despite his recent shortcomings, he’s a very similar player to current Tiger J.D. Martinez before the right fielder arrived in Motown.

Here are the two players’ stats.

  • Player A: .251 career hitter, .687 OPS, averages 16 home runs and 82 RBI per an 162 game schedule.
  • Player B: .246 career hitter, .710 OPS, averages 18 home runs and 75 RBI per an 162 game schedule.

“Player A” is Martinez as a member of the Astros while “Player B” is Brown. Eerily similar right?

While Martinez had never received a full season’s worth of at-bats, Brown has. In 2013 he hit .272 with 27 home runs and 83 RBI. The ex-Phillies player made the All-Star team that season and seemed destined to develop into the player many predicted he would be as one of the game’s elite prospects.

He hasn’t, but at only 28-years-old, Brown still has plenty of time to make good on his tremendous potential. That could come with the Tigers.

While finding essentially another Martinez is unlikely, Brown offers exciting potential and seems up to the task of hitting in a loaded lineup. The former top prospect is a career .286 hitter with runners in scoring position. That kind of stat will certainly come in handy in a lineup that finished with the league’s second highest team OPS despite Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez missing significant time.

J.D. Martinez made some adjustments early before developing into a .296 hitter over the past two seasons. During that span, J.D. has mashed 61 home runs and driven 178 runs. Again, those numbers seem unlikely for Brown, or any player picked off the scrap heap, but Brown has all kinds of potential. 

Next: Tigers Acquire Reliever Justin Wilson from Yankees for Prospects

Who knows what he can do with some adjustments?

Did I mention he’s a free agent?

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