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Yankees’ Judge, Pirates star McCutchen named MLB Players of the Month

 

Aaron Judge 2016 swinging By Arturo Pardavila on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Andrew McCutchen running in on ball in 2016 By Terry Foote at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has been voted the Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month for June, as well as AL Rookie of the Month for the third consecutive month. Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for June. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

Others receiving votes for AL Player of the Month included All-Star outfielder George Springer (.333, 24 R, 9 2B, 11 HR, 21 RBI) of the Houston Astros; outfielder Ben Gamel (.393, 22 R, 10 XBH, 11 RBI) and catcher Mike Zunino (.304, 10 HR, 31 RBI, .722 SLG) of the Seattle Mariners; All-Star third baseman José Ramírez (.367, 26 R, 40 H, 13 2B) of the Cleveland Indians; outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (.353, 15 R, 14 XBH, 15 RBI) of the Boston Red Sox; outfielder Lorenzo Cain (.333, 24 R, 8 HR, 17 RBI) of the Kansas City Royals; and All-Star first baseman Justin Smoak (.333, 24 R, 9 2B, 11 HR, 21 RBI) of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Others receiving votes for NL Player of the Month included Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star and NL Rookie of the Month Cody Bellinger (22 R, 9 2B, 13 HR, 27 RBI); All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.347, 23 R, 13 XBH, 27 RBI) of the Arizona Diamondbacks; first baseman Matt Adams (.314, 20 R, 10 HR, 25 RBI) of the Atlanta Braves; All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado (.324, 10 2B, 4 3B, 27 RBI) of the Rockies; and All-Star first baseman Joey Votto (.364, 20 R, 7 2B, 9 HR) of the Cincinnati Reds.

The Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month, Aaron Judge, and the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month, Andrew McCutchen will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.

Judge posted a slash line of .324/.481/.686 with 30 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, 10 home runs, 25 RBI and two stolen bases to claim his first career AL Player of the Month Award, as well as his third consecutive rookie honor. Aaron is the first AL player to earn three rookie honors in a single season since José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox in 2014, and the first American Leaguer to garner three consecutive Rookie of the Month Awards since Mike Trout took home rookie monthly honors in four consecutive months in 2012 (May-August). Among qualified AL leaders, the 25-year-old finished the month first in runs scored, walks (30) and on-base percentage; tied for second in home runs and triples; third in slugging percentage; and tied for fifth in RBI.

During a three-game stretch from June 10th-12th, Judge batted 9-for-12 with 10 runs scored, two doubles, four home runs and eight RBI. Included in his offensive outbreak was a 4-for-4 effort on June 11th, which included his third multi-homer game of the season. It was the most round-trippers Judge had hit over a three-game span, giving him 22 on the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, New York’s slugger became the first rookie in MLB history to be the first player to reach 20 home runs in a season. On June 28th against the Chicago White Sox, Judge connected for his Major League-leading 27th home run of the season. His 27 round-trippers before the All-Star break are already the secondmost for a rookie in franchise history, trailing only Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio’s 29 home runs in 1936. In addition, the Linden, California native became just the third player since 1933 to reach the 27-homer mark before the All-Star break, joining Mark McGwire (33) in 1987 and Abreu (29) in 2014. The 2017 AL All-Star finished the month of June pacing the AL in two of the three Triple Crown categories. Leading the junior circuit in home runs and RBI (62), Judge (.326) trailed only fellow 2017 AL All-Star Jose Altuve (.330) for the highest batting average.

Judge topped the AL with 4,488,702 votes en route to becoming the first AL rookie fan-elected starter since Hideki Matsui of the Yankees in 2003. Other Yankees rookies to receive starting roles at the Midsummer Classic include DiMaggio in 1936 and Tom Tresh in 1962. The right-handed-hitting Judge is the youngest player to lead the AL in voting since Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (24) in 1994, and is the first Yankee to pace the AL in voting since Derek Jeter in 2009. Judge also became the first Yankees outfielder to receive a fan-elected starting assignment since Curtis Granderson in 2012.

McCutchen slashed .411/.505/.689 with 22 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, six home runs, 23 RBI and one stolen base to claim his fifth career NL Player of the Month Award, last winning in August 2015. The fivetime All-Star is now the only Pirates player in franchise history to take home monthly honors on five occasions, and is the first National Leaguer to accomplish the feat since Vladimir Guerrero won his fifth Player of the Month Award in August 2003. Among qualified NL hitters, Andrew finished the period first in batting average and on-base percentage; third in slugging percentage; tied for third in hits (37); tied for fifth in runs scored; and sixth in RBI.

With his final batting average at .411 (37-for-90) for the month, McCutchen posted the fifth-highest average in team history for the month of June, dating back to at least 1913 among players with at least 90 atbats. The 2013 NL MVP finished behind just Tony Peña (.456 in 1982), Paul Waner (.453 in 1927), Clyde Barnhart (.421 in 1927) and Carson Bigbee (.415 in 1923). Over the course of his award-winning month, the Fort Meade, Florida native notched multi-hit efforts in 13 of 26 games started. During a torrid eight-game hitting streak from June 9th-17th, McCutchen, a four-time Silver Slugger Award recipient, posted a slash line of .467/.529/.933 with six runs scored, three doubles, a triple, three homers and eight RBI. Included in his hot streak was his first multi-home run game of the 2017 campaign on June 13th against the Colorado Rockies. With the pair of round-trippers, McCutchen reached the 10-home run mark for the ninth straight season. Andrew became the fourth player in team history to do so in at least nine consecutive seasons, joining Hall of Famers Willie Stargell (1963-80) and Roberto Clemente (1960-72), as well as Al Oliver (1969-77). Following his excellent month at the plate, the 11th overall selection (by Pittsburgh) in the 2005 MLB Draft raised his batting average by 60 points from .223 to .283.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com