Could Eagles star WR AJ Brown play Centerfield for the Phillies?
When the Eagles acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver AJ Brown from the Tennessee Titans on the day of the NFL Draft, the media overwhelmingly lauded GM Howie Roseman, for having done an incredible job transforming the position group into ones the leagues best.
Now that AJ Brown is in Philadelphia, could the former prep standout and San Diego Padres draft selection solidify another weak position group known as the Phillies centerfielders?
The Phillies centerfield position has been a mess for multiple seasons now. In 2021, Philadelphia centerfielder’s slashed a meager .230/.298/.363. That production was 24 points below the league average by measure of wRC+, which ranked as the fourth-worst in the league.
So far this season, the Phillies have already deployed Matt Vierling, Odubel Herrera, Simon Muzziotti and Roman Quinn to similarly poor results. Despite Herrera’s hot start the Phillies have gotten just 2 HR and 11 RBI from a group that is currently ranked 21st in the league.
Enter current Eagles superstar and former MLB top-prospect AJ Brown…
Brown was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 19th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Starkville HS in Starkville, MS, after batting an impressive .365 during his senior year. His selection undoubtedly would have been higher if not for team’s knowledge that Brown intended to attend Ole Miss and play football. Brown joined Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray as just the second ever athlete to play in both the baseball and football Under Armour All-America games.
A.J. is a physical specimen who plays the OF in baseball and WR in football. He swings the bat with authority from the right side and is one of those special players who have the ball make a different sound off their bat. His WR speed and natural instincts allow him to play CF and the upside for A.J. on the baseball diamond is tremendous.– Scouting Report for AJ Brown at Under-Armour All-American Game
Baseball America graded Brown as having 70/80 speed and a quick bat, to go along with his advanced athleticism. If Brown had only been interested in playing baseball, the scouting consensus points to evidence that he would have been taken in the first couple of rounds.
“The way he patrolled center field was very impressive. There was like an ease with the way he could get to balls. He would just kind of glide across the field. The offensive game was going to be a question. Was he going to hit? How much was he going to hit? What was the impact going to be? He was big and strong and could hit the ball a long way.”Padres area scout Steve Moritz
When Brown was finished with his freshman and sophomore seasons in Oxford, he traveled to the Padres training complex in Peoria, AZ where he participated in extended spring training, where he took batting practice and caught fly balls in the outfield.
While the Padres still officially hold Brown’s rights as a baseball player, I am sure that Phillies GM Dave Dombrowski could swing a deal for substantially less than the 1st and 3rd round picks Howie Roseman gave up to acquire his services.
Obviously, the Eagles would prefer that AJ Brown remain a one-sport star and someone who catches double digit touchdowns annually for them at the Linc. But the chance to watch Brown roam the outfield for the Phillies in the offseason, like a modern day Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson, would be an amazing story for both leagues and honestly something we all need to see.
If you have been watching the Phillies so far this season, who would you rather see, Odubel Herrera or AJ Brown?