PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 31: Domonic Brown #9 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a home run in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in a MLB baseball game on May 31, 2013 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Domonic Brown is your National League player for the month of May, in a story that should surprise absolutely no one who wasn't living under a rock for the last 30 or so days. The news was announced on Monday, on the heels of Brown's incredible May, where he blasted 12 homers, knocked in 25 runs, and had himself an OPS of .991.
Under most circumstances, the story would end there, but Brown's May was so interesting that it bears talking about in greater detail. First, his triple-slash line is a thing to behold: .303/.303/.688. Typically, a hitter's on-base percentage is higher than his batting average. Sometimes, the planets align and a hitter finds himself with an on-base percentage lower than his batting average, which is fun because of the sheer absurdity of it all. But in Brown's case, they are exactly the same, thanks to the outfielder not drawing a single walk during the month of May. That's pretty incredible, considering that Brown has always been a hitter who wasn't afraid to draw a walk. But when you're going good, you're going great, and if opposing pitchers are going to pound the strike zone early and often, you might as well let 'er rip and see if you can hit it over the wall.
Second, Dom really didn't start turning it on until the second half of the month. While the first 15 days of May weren't awful, his .796 OPS and four homers wasn't worth writing home about. It wasn't until the second half of the month that he really turned it on. In the final 14 games of May, Brown hit eight homers, knocked in 17 (which is really kind of low, considering), and slugged .855 and OPS's 1.182.
It was that performance that catapulted him to the national stage, and led to him winning NL Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks.
The interesting thing about this, I think, is that Dom didn't necessarily have the best offensive performance in the NL last month. That's not to take anything away from him, but his .991 OPS ranked seventh among all NL players, including Paul Goldschmidt (1.133), Joey Votto (1.123), and Troy Tulowitzki (1.043)– all of which could have potentially taken home the player of the month award. What that tells us is that it's less important how you do over 30 days, and more important to do something freakishly awesome, like hitting eight home runs in the last 11 games of the month.
At any rate, Dom Brown has certainly earned all the accolades that have been foisted upon him over the last few weeks, and it looks like he is finally turning into the player that everyone thought he would become. Now, it's not realistic to think that he'll keep hitting home runs at a blistering pace, but it's nice to finally see a 25-year-old player finally make the leap to The Show.