Posted by Mike Rice
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for April.
Tulowitzki paced the Major Leagues with a .477 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage during 27 contests in March/April while ranking second in hitting behind teammate Charlie Blackmon. He posted a .364 average for the month, collecting 32 hits in 88 at-bats. The three-time All-Star also ranked among N.L. leaders with 24 runs scored (1st), 64 total bases (2nd), 22 RBI (T-3rd), seven home runs (T-4th) and nine doubles (T-5th). Along with his 32 hits, Tulowitzki drew 21 walks during the first month of the season, which was tied for the second-most in the Senior Circuit. His on-base and slugging percentages were the highest marks by a shortstop during the opening month of a season since 2006 (Derek Jeter, NYY, .505 OBP) and 2000 (Alex Rodriguez, SEA, .747 SLG), respectively.
The 29-year-old capped his stellar April performance by going a combined 5-for-9 (.556) with two homers and five RBI in a three-game set at division-rival Arizona from April 28th-30th as the Rockies took two of three from the D-backs. On the 28th, Tulowitzki reached base five times for the second time this year (also: 4/20 vs. PHI), going 3-for-3 with a pair of walks. The California native clubbed homers in back-to-back games (4/28-29) for the second time on the young season after going deep in three-straight outings from April 22nd-25th.
On April 18th, Tulowitzki collected five RBI, going 3-for-3 with a double and a home run in a 12-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. The five-RBI performance was the fifth of his career, which is the most among all active Major League shortstops. The performance fell two RBI shy of his career single-game high of seven, done twice (last: 9/15/10 vs. SD). The three-hit effort was one of five such outings for Tulowitzki last month. The seventh overall selection in the 2005 Draft currently leads all Major League shortstops in hitting, home runs, RBI and runs scored. This is his second career monthly award, having won previously for the month of September 2010.
Other players receiving votes included Adrian Gonzalez (.317, 18 R, 32 H, 9 2B, 8 HR, 24 RBI, .644 SLG) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton (.269, 19 R, 29 H, 8 2B, 8 HR, 31 RBI, .565 SLG); Tulowitzki’s Colorado teammates Charlie Blackmon (.374, 23 R, 37 H, 7 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 18 RBI, .616 SLG, .418 OBP) and Justin Morneau (.343, 14 R, 35 H, 8 2B, 6 HR, 22 RBI, .618 SLG); and Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez (.293, 19 R, 34 H, 7 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 15 RBI, .569 SLG, 4 SB).
The Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for April 2014, Troy Tulowitzki, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, in recognition of his accomplishment.
Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has been voted the Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month for April, the first such honor for the White Sox since Magglio Ordonez in July 2003. He joins Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig (June 2013) as the only two players since the award’s 1974 inception to win in their first month in the Majors. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor of 24 of 30 Clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the National League Player of the Month Award.
Along with being named as the league’s top player, Abreu also claimed the American League Rookie of the Month Award. Jose’s teammate Gordon Beckham last won rookie honors for the White Sox in July 2009. The 27-year-old is the eighth player ever to win both the Player/Pitcher of the Month Award and the Rookie of the Month Award in the same calendar month, joining Florida’s Dontrelle Willis (June 2003), Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (July 2007), San Francisco’s Buster Posey (July 2010), Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson (May 2011) and Chris Archer (July 2013), the Angels’ Mike Trout (July 2012) and Puig (June 2013).
Abreu batted .270 (31-for-115) with eight doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 32 RBI and 20 runs scored in 29 games, leading the Majors in homers, RBI, total bases (71) and extra-base hits (19) while establishing new Major League rookie records in all four of those categories. The Cuban native finished fifth overall in slugging percentage (.617), tied for seventh in multi-hit games (11) and was tied for 10th in runs scored.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Abreu’s 32 RBI tied Joe DiMaggio (1936), Ted Williams (1939) and Albert Pujols (2001) for the third-highest total in Major League history by a player in his first 29 career games, and his 10 homers were the most by a White Sox rookie in any month. He is the first rookie since Minnesota’s Kent Hrbek in 1982 (8 HR, 22 RBI) to lead the Majors in both homers and RBI through April and is the first White Sox player to lead all of Baseball in both categories in any month since Roy Sievers in July 1960 (Elias).
The right-handed-hitting Abreu, who also won A.L. Player of the Week honors for April 21st-27th, notched four games with at least four RBI, another Major League first for players in their first 29 games, including two multi-homer efforts in his first 10 games to become the third-ever to do so.
Others receiving A.L. Player of the Month votes included Toronto’s Jose Bautista (.293, 8 HR, 18 RBI) and Melky Cabrera (.342, 8 2B, 5 HR, 8 RBI); the Angels’ Albert Pujols (.279, 9 HR, 23 RBI) and Mike Trout (.321, 8 2B, 6 HR, 18 RBI); Oakland’s Josh Donaldson (.279, 10 2B, 7 HR, 23 RBI); and Abreu’s teammate Alexei Ramirez (.351, 4 HR, 19 RBI). Starting pitchers Masahiro Tanaka (3-0, 2.27 ERA, 6 BB, 46 SO) of the New York Yankees and Yordano Ventura (2-1, 1.50 ERA, 31 SO) of the Kansas City Royals also received voting consideration for A.L. Rookie of the Month.
In recognition of his Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month Award and his American League Rookie of the Month Award, Jose Abreu will receive two specially designed trophies, suitably engraved, for his accomplishments.