May a defining month for Domonic Brown 

May, 2, 2014
May 2
9:39
AM ET
Domonic BrownJeff Gross/Getty ImagesDomonic Brown is off to a slow start, with just one homer and eight runs scored in 26 games.

Last May three hitters slugged their way to double-digit home runs, and two of them were MVP candidates Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles. The other was Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown, whose 12 homers in the season’s second month represented nearly half his season total. He wasn’t useless after May, but there was regression, then injury, and he certainly slowed down after that. When combined with a slow start to this season, Brown has many a fantasy owner wondering if he is worth owning at all (a 14th-round pick in ESPN average live drafts already down to 97 percent owned).

Pitchers have attacked Brown quite a bit differently this season, making him reach for outside pitches. The result is most of his hits are to the opposite field. Because he hasn't been able to pull for power, he has only one home run in more than 100 plate appearances, hardly up to expectations. Then again, Brown entered last May hitting .233 with three home runs. Then he smacked 12 and rewrote his disappointing career to that point. This is a critical month for Brown because the Phillies aren’t rebuilding, but there have been rumors about Brown being trade bait. This month is also likely to define his fantasy value.