DoBo strikes again
by Scott Butler 6/4/13

Admit it. You did not see this coming from Domonic Brown. In just a few weeks, DoBo went from washed up 25-year-old to NL home run leader, likely all-star, and potential MVP. 17 home runs in a month, two straight players of the week, and Player of the Month? Are you kidding me?

It's been a crazy month for Dom Brown, but wait 'till you see these numbers. Check out his stats in the last ten games:

Domonic Brown last ten games
40 38 10 17 1 1 9 17 2 1 9 .447 .475 1.364 1.839

Brown's last ten games not only produced nearly one home run per game, but look at his slugging and OPS. I don't think I've ever seen a slugging percentage over one and an OPS that approaches two. To put his run in perspective, if you project those numbers over an entire season he would hit 146 home runs and 275 RBI.

A run like that is obviously unsustainable and it is hard to make much sense of anything when a player is that hot, so let's stretch out the focus to the last month plus. Here are Domonic Brown's stats in May and June:

Domonic Brown May/June Stats
31 122 120 20 40 4 2 14 31 2 24 .333 .344 .750 1.094

Even the strongest Domonic Brown supporters could not have seen this coming when DoBo was hitting .206 with 2 homers and 6 RBI on April 23rd. While such an amazing turnaround is a lot of fun to watch, the bigger question is what we will see on the other end of this hot streak.

John Mayberry had a similar streak two years ago when he hit .315 with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs after July 22, but we know how that worked out. Since that time Maybuggles has been a borderline major leaguer - and he was a bust mainly because he could not hit right-handed pitching.

One reason for optimism is that DoBo has handled left-handed pitching. He is actually hitting better against lefties (.343) than he is against righties (.277) and 4 of his 17 homers have come off lefties. 4 home runs might not sound like much, but with 112 less at-bats against southpaws, he actually has a higher home run percentage against lefties.

It is also great to see that Brown is not just feasting off fastballs for his home runs. In fact, only half of his home runs during May and June have been off fastballs. Here is the break down of his homers by pitch.

Home Runs by Pitch
Total Fastball Cutter Change Curve Slider Splitter
14 7 1 2 1 2 1

These are all great signs, but one concern might be that he has pulled every home run this season. In order to continue producing home runs, he has to find a way to hit opposite field homers. Pitchers will eventually adjust and force him to beat them to left field. Right now he is so hot that he is pulling pitches away for home runs, but he is not likely to continue that trend once this hot streak ends.

The great thing about a run like this is that we don't have to give him the keys to the city just yet. We will find out who the real DoBo is in a few months. For now, enough with the dissecting and let's enjoy the show.

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