Monday, June 1, 2015

May's Monster Hitters

Goldschmidt exploded last month and is having an MVP-type season (Rant Sports)
With May officially in the books, I present to you the 11 position players who posted the most impressive batting numbers last month (in my humble opinion, as always).

Paul Goldschmidt
Goldschmidt was already off to a great start, having posted a 1.030 OPS and driving in 20 runs in April, but in May he was even better. The Diamondbacks first baseman, who ended April on fire with three consecutive three-hit games, continued his torrid pace by hitting .365/.476/.750. His counting numbers were equally impressive, as he socked 10 dingers and eight doubles, knocked in 23 runs amd scored 21, and worked 22 walks. He also reached base in all but three games last month and was intentionally walked nine times, including three times in yesterday's 17-inning marathon against the Brewers. With nine hits--six for extra bases--in his last three games, Goldschmidt's hotter than the Arizona desert as the calendar flips to June.

Bryce Harper
Harper started May slow, with just one single in his first 17 at-bats, but immediately went from ice-cold to blisteringly-hot. The major league leader in bWAR just enjoyed an unbelievable three-week stretch from May 6-27 in which he slugged 13 home runs, piled up 28 RBI, scored 23 runs, and batted an insane .460/.570/1.175. Also of note is that he struck out a lot less in May; just 17 times in 109 plate appearances compared to 30 times in 100 trips to the plate in April. His OPS on the season is now just a shade below 1.200.

Josh Donaldson
The American League leader in RBI and major league leader in runs scored went bananas last month, clubbing 10 home runs, posting a 1.022 OPS, and coming around to score 25 times. He was especially hot in the month's final week, blasting six home runs and totaling 11 runs, hits, and RBI in six games last week. Incredibly, White Sox and Twins pitchers did not intentionally walk him once during that stretch. Donaldson now has as many bWAR as Mike Trout.

Prince Fielder
Fielder found his power stroke after managing just one long ball during April. The former home run champion went yard nine times in May, knocking in 28 runs as he batted a robust .377/.430/.656. The AL hits leader also registered 46 base knocks during the month, 16 of which went for extra bases. His resurgence is a big reason why the Rangers went 19-11 in May, and he should continue hitting with Shin-Soo Choo and Josh Hamilton returning to form.

Jason Kipnis
Kipnis rebounded from a brutal April with a torrid May. To give you an idea of just how great his May was, consider that he finished April batting .218/.263/.287, and ended May up at .340/.411/.529 with the second-most bWAR in the American League. All he did was bat .429, reach base in over half his plate appearances, and slug .706 by virtue of 22 extra base hits. Cleveland's leadoff man led the way with an astounding 51 hits and 30 runs scored last month. Following a down year in 2014 and a sluggish start to this year, it appears the 2013 All-Star version of Kipnis has returned.

Brandon Belt
After showing intermittent flashes of promise throughout his five-year career, the 27 year-old finally appears to be putting it all together. Belt put an ugly April (.613 OPS, no home runs) behind him to rake in May, pounding out 21 extra base hits and triple-slashing .339/.405/.670. Seven of those extra base hits left the yard, all since May 15th. The Giants are currently just a half game out of first in the NL West, and Belt's bat is a big reason why.

Todd Frazier
An All-Star for the first time last year as a reserve, Frazier is making a strong case to be the NL's starting third baseman at this year's midsummer classic, which also happens to be hosted by his home team's city. With 16 long balls, 9 of which came in May, he's already more than halfway to last year's total of 29--a career high. In addition to posting lofty power totals such as his .683 slugging, he was also an on-base machine, reaching safely in 24 of 27 games at almost a 40 percent clip. He also batted .327--an 89 point improvement over his April average. Frazier has been especially hot over the last week, tagging four home runs and four doubles over his past six games.

Justin Upton
The re-tooled Padres haven't lived up to expectations, but Upton's not the reason why. The younger and better Upton brother was huge during the month of May, batting .343/.418/.546 with six home runs, 23 RBI, and nine stolen bases in nine attempts. It's been years since Upton ran like that, literally; he swiped more bags last month than he did in each of the last two seasons. His defense, however, still leaves a lot to be desired.

Ryan Braun
Braun's back, baby! Well, sort of. His numbers still aren't anywhere near prime-level Braun, but they're much better than they were the last two years. The Hebrew Hammer hit eight home runs with 28 RBI, 22 runs, and five steals in May, impressive counting stats for a twice-busted 31 year-old PED offender. That was mean.

Andrew McCutchen
Kudos to McCutchen for turning around a truly awful start to the season. He was batting below .200 through May 6th, but has looked more like himself over the past three weeks as he recovers from knee soreness. 'Cutch batted a McCutchen-esque .330/.419/.566--right in line with his numbers from last year--to make his batting line respectable. He also smacked 10 doubles, five home runs, and walked nearly as often (14 times) as he struck out (15 times).

Nelson Cruz
Last but not least we have Cruz, the major league home run leader who added eight bombs to his ledger in May. He did a lot more than just leave the yard though, batting .346/.407/.607 on the month.
Last year's ML home run king is at it again (MLB)

No comments:

Post a Comment