Former Phillie Brown eyes fresh start with Jays

Outfielder signed Minor League deal with Toronto last month, has no regrets about time in Philly

Former Phillie Brown eyes fresh start with Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Domonic Brown is in a new uniform with a new number that looks more at home on the back of a first-time Spring Training participant than somebody who made the 2013 National League All-Star team.

But Brown had little choice after the Phillies cut ties with him in October. He could not land a Major League contract in the offseason, so he instead signed a Minor League contract with the Blue Jays late last month. He was in the Blue Jays' lineup batting sixth and playing right field in Wednesday's 4-4 tie with the Phillies at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI single.

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"A little different," Brown said about his new surroundings, "but definitely it's been great."

Brown is wearing No. 81 this spring, the result of signing so late. He hopes to eventually change that number, which would happen if he makes the Opening Day roster. He has a real shot to be the Blue Jays' fourth or fifth outfielder.

But if everything had gone according to plan, Brown still would be with the Phillies, hitting in the middle of the lineup. A former top prospect, Brown appeared to be fulfilling his hype in 2013 when he hit .285 with 21 home runs, 59 RBIs and a .907 OPS in 300 plate appearances from April 27 through the All-Star break.

But Brown hit .239 with 19 home runs, 104 RBIs and a .650 OPS in 803 plate appearances following the 2013 All-Star break through the end of '15. Brown's OPS in that span ranked 250th out of 336 qualified hitters in baseball and 117th out of 132 qualified outfielders.

"Philly did me great," Brown said. "They did a great job. A lot of great memories. A lot of great times. It's just time for a fresh start."

Brown said he has no regrets about his time in Philadelphia.

"Not at all," he said. "I put everything on myself. Accountability for me has always been big. That's why I didn't have any bad times with the fans. It was all on me, you know what I mean?"

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.