The accolades keep coming for Domonic Brown. On top of being named National League Player of the Week for the second consecutive week, Brown was also named NL Player of the Month for May.
In seven games from May 27 to June 2, Brown went 12 for 27 (.444) with seven home runs, 13 RBIs and eight runs. His OPS was 1.779.
For the month of May, Brown hit .303 with 12 homers and 25 RBIs. He became the first player ever to hit double-digit home runs in a month without walking.
Oh how much difference a month can make.
"Yeah, definitely," Brown said when asked if he's now hearing more from friends and fans. "A lot of text messages, the social media stuff, Instagram and Facebook. I don’t tweet or anything. But those two things. It’s been fun. It’s been fun. But I’m not letting that get in the way of my performance. I don’t even have cable in the house, so I don’t watch ESPN or anything."
In May, Brown became just the sixth player age-25 or younger to hit 12 home runs within his first 108 plate appearances. The others? Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Eric Davis, Boog Powell and Frank Howard.
Brown attributed the success to "just playing games regularly."
He doesn't mind all the bouncing around he's done lately in the Phillies' lineup. He's batted third, fifth and sixth over the last five games.
"When you’ve got Jimmy [Rollins] hitting third if I’m hitting fifth, if he’s on it’s almost like a leadoff hitter is on, so it’s pretty much the same approach for me," Brown said. "Charlie [Manuel] knows exactly what he’s doing and he explained that to me on Day 1. The same thing with left-handed pitchers. He said he was going to work me in slow and make sure I get my confidence up before he puts me in the lineup to face those tough lefties."
On top of batting .326 with a .999 OPS this season vs. lefties, Brown now leads the National League with 16 home runs and ranks sixth in slugging, at .574. He is on pace for 45 home runs and 114 RBIs. He's the first Phillie since Ryan Howard in August 2009 to win NL Player of the Month.
"I’ve seen some tremendous months. This ranks right up there," Manuel said. "He’s been fantastic."
It's hard to believe Brown will see so many good pitches to hit the rest of the way. This recent surge has him on every team's and every pitcher's radar, and now it's up to Brown to maintain a level of success over the next 100-plus games. As far as goals go, consistency is next.
"They're going to start attacking him differently," Manuel said. "There’s too much information out there not to. They’ll start really experimenting with him as far as what they throw him and stuff like that. Actually he’s been making some pretty good adjustments. Some of the hits he gets, he’s been hitting some breaking balls. It looks like a cutter or slider he hit yesterday. The ball was kind of up and down. They were trying to get the ball underneath his elbow inside. He still got to it."
That challenge excites the mild-mannered Brown, who is taking all of his recent accolades and extra attention in stride.
"I have to make adjustments back," he said. "So, it’s going to be different and it’s probably going to start with the Marlins. They know me pretty well, in the same division ... I’m just excited to see what the game is going to bring tonight."
John Finger contributed to this report.