Players of the Month
Players of the Month
The first month of the 2014 MLB Pro season is coming to an end, and with that comes the monthly awards. March and April will count as one month for the purposes of this month’s awards. Here are my picks for the AL and NL hitter of the month and AL and NL pitcher of the month.
*Note: Stats as of April 28th
AL Hitter of the Month
RF/DH- Xue-Liang Wong (Texas)
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Wong was leaps and bounds better than his competition this month, posting a ridiculous .375/.476/.817 line, amounting for 12 home runs (second in the league) and 43 RBIs (first in the league). Also, despite playing DH for most of the month, Wong was able to amass a 2.5 WAR, which has him projected to finish with a 15.9 WAR at his current pace.
The question will be whether or not Wong can keep up with this pace. In 2013, he also had a tremendous start to the season, but quickly came back down to Earth at the end of the season, finishing with a .287/.348/.638 line and 5.0 WAR.
1B- Eric Hosmer (Toronto)- Posted a .386/.482/.686 line.
1B- Miguel Cabrera (Seattle)- Posted a .381/.463/.705 line. Also posted a 2.2 WAR.
1B- Justin Morneau (Houston)- Posted a .307/.377/.713 line. Hit 11 home runs and drove in 29.
OF- Josh Reddick (Texas)- Posted a .333/.417/.778 line in limited at-bats (63).
NL Hitter of the Month
RF- Jose Bautista (Chicago)
Has he risen from the dead? While with the Cubs last season, he posted a .201/.310/.392 line in over 220 plate appearances. Couple that with his fielding, and you have an abysmal -0.8 WAR. This season was a new beginning, and he has taken full advantage of it. He posted a 1.3 WAR, hit 15 home runs (leads the league) and drove in 32 (second in the league) on his way to a .306/.427/.859 line.
Like Wong, Bautista can be a streaky hitter, and has a reputation of falling off in the latter parts of the season. Bautista has become an all or nothing hitter, as 17 of his 26 hits have gone for extra bases. However, there is no denying Bautista was the best hitter in the NL for the month of April.
LF- Chris Lubanski (Chicago)- Lubanski has come out of nowhere and posted a .333/.405/.758 line. Chicago can be a dangerous team if he continues near his pace.
3B- Will Middlebrooks (Atlanta)- A big reason for Atlanta’s current success. All he does is hit, posting a .389/.436/.711 line.
3B- Evan Longoria (St. Louis)- All he does is walk. He is tied for the league lead in walks with 26, and is on pace for a 13.3 WAR.
INF- Blake Dewitt (Philadelphia)- Shout out to the league leader in batting average with a .413/.449/.603 line. Remember when he posted similar numbers with the Cubs back in 2012?
AL Pitcher of the Month
SP- Brandon Morrow (Los Angeles)
Morrow has had five quality starts in five chances. He has allowed five runs in 39.1 innings, posting a 1.14 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. He appears to have found a new home with the Angels, as he posted a 2.65 ERA in 14 starts with them last season. He may be on his way to a Cy Young.
SP- Mike Minor (Cleveland)- Take away one bad start, and he will have only given up two runs in 33.2 innings. He still ended with a 1.34 ERA, certainly nothing to laugh about.
SP- Roy Halladay (Detroit)- A veteran pitcher who may have found his home. After signing a 2 year, 44M extension in the offseason, Halladay showed management that they didn’t make a mistake with a 1.85 ERA.
MR- Chien-Ming Wang (Toronto)- It’s not often a reliever can make it on this list, nevertheless a reliever that doesn’t close. Wang was flawless in 17 innings of work and had a 0.88 WHIP.
MR- Jordan Walden (Los Angeles)- Walden continues to dominate. He is tied for the league lead in saves with 9. He didn’t allow a run in 12.1 innings of work.
NL Pitcher of the Month
SP- Clay Buchholz (San Francisco)
Who saw this coming? After a horrible season in Atlanta, him and his big contract were put on waivers in the offseason, which led to San Francisco claiming him. In his first month with the team, he posted a 1.49 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 36.1 innings. He has gone eight innings in each outing (if you exclude the one where he felt injured and was pulled after 4.1 innings, but actually wasn’t), allowing a total of 6 runs.
SP- Jonathon Niese (New York)- Posted a 1.19 ERA in 37.2 innings pitched. Like Minor, he had one bad start, and if you exclude it, he only allowed one run 32.2 innings. No, that is not a typo.
SP- Gavin Floyd (Milwaukee)- No way this lasts, but it’s fun watching him pitch right now. He has a 1.75 ERA in 36 innings pitched, with a quality start in every start.
SP- Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles)- He has a 2.49 ERA, which is all well and good, but not normally good enough to get consideration for pitcher of the month. However, his WHIP was 0.78, and if he stays close to that WHIP, he’ll have an ERA under 2.00 by the end of the season. Side note: He’s 0-3, what in the world is wrong with the Dodgers?
MR- Mike Adams (Atlanta)- Another pitcher pitching above his capabilities, he doesn’t have a blemish through 14.2 innings. It’s safe to say no one saw this coming from the 35 year old.