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Yankees’ Gregorius, D-Backs’ Pollock named AL, NL Player of the Month for April



Didi Gregorius in field 2015 photo Keith Allison on Flickr via wikipedia commons


A.J. Pollock on field 2015 photo By Mark Winograd - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https

New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius has been voted the Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month for his play through April, and Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for April.

The Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month, Didi Gregorius, and the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month, A.J. Pollock, will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.

Gregorius posted a slash line of .327/.421/.735 with 24 runs scored, 32 hits, eight doubles, a triple, 10 home runs, 30 RBI and two stolen bases to claim his first career AL Player of the Month Award. Didi’s All-Star teammate Aaron Judge won a pair of monthly awards last season, including the most recent honor last September. Among qualified AL leaders, the Amsterdam, Netherlands native finished the month first in RBI and slugging percentage; tied

for first in home runs and extra-base hits (19); tied for second in runs scored; tied for fourth in walks (18); and tied for sixth in doubles. On April 27th against the Los Angeles Angels, the 28-year-old went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a double and a solo home run. The go-ahead homer in the 10th inning was the first extra-inning home run of his career and his 10th on the season. With the blast, Didi, who earned AL Player of the Week honors for the period ending April 30th, became the fourth player in team history to club 10 round-trippers in April, joining Graig Nettles (1974), Alex Rodriguez (2007) and Judge (2017). In addition, the clutch round-tripper resulted in his 30th RBI on the season, the third-highest April RBI total in franchise history (since RBI became an official statistic in 1920). Tino Martinez recorded 34 RBI during

April of his AL MVP-runner-up season of 1997, while Rodriguez also plated 34 in April during his AL MVP-winning 2007 campaign. The round-tripper was also his fifth over a six-game stretch. From April 22nd-25th, the left-handed-hitting slugger homered in four straight games, becoming the first shortstop in Yankees lore to accomplish the feat. With his aforementioned slash line, Gregorius became just the fourth player in Major League history to slash at least .325/.420/.735 in April with at least 10 home runs and 30 RBI, joining Albert Pujols in 2006 (.346/.509/.914, 14 HR, 32 RBI), Larry Walker in 2001 (.375/.446/.852, 11 HR, 30 RBI) and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. during his AL MVP-winning 1997 season (.340/.420/.786, 13 HR, 30 RBI).

Others receiving votes for AL Player of the Month included All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts (.344, 29 R, 11 2B, 8 HR) of the Boston Red Sox; outfielder Mitch Haniger (.309, 6 2B, 10 HR, 27 RBI) of the Seattle Mariners; and infielder Daniel Robertson (.333, 14 R, 9 XBH, .561 SLG) of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Pollock batted .291 (30-for-103) with 20 runs scored, eight doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 24 RBI and six stolen bases over 27 games to claim his first career Player of the Month Award, and the second consecutive monthly honor for the D-backs, following J.D. Martinez last September. Among his qualified NL counterparts, A.J. finished the month tied for first in home runs; second in extra-base hits (19) and slugging percentage (.670); third in RBI and stolen bases; tied for third in triples; and tied for seventh in doubles.

Pollock finished his award-winning month of April with his first career three-home run game at Chase Field against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 30th. The Notre Dame product became the 12th player in Club history to accomplish the feat, and the first since the aforementioned Martinez on September 4th of last season during his award-winning month. Following his prolific output, A.J.’s nine round-trippers in April matched Steve Finley (2000), Richie Sexson (2004) and Kelly Johnson (2010) for the second-most in team history, trailing just Luis Gonzalez (13 HR, 2001). Moreover, Arizona’s first round selection in the 2009 (17th overall) MLB Draft became the first player in D-backs history to post at least nine homers and six stolen bases in March/April. Led by their All-Star outfielder, Arizona entered May with 20 victories on the season and matched the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers and the 2008 D-backs for the most wins by an NL Club in March/April in MLB history. This year’s Boston Red Sox and the 2003 New York Yankees each recorded 21 wins following the month of April. In addition, for the first time in franchise history, Arizona went the entire month of April without losing back-to-back games. Entering play today, Arizona paces the NL West by 6.0 games with a 21-8 record.

Second baseman Ozzie Albies (29 R, 12 2B, 9 HR, 20 RBI) was also outstanding for the Atlanta Braves as the 2018 season got underway. The 21-year-old established a new franchise record for the most extra-base hits (22) by the end of April, eclipsing the previous mark of 19 set by Dale Murphy, Hall of Fame electee Chipper Jones and Justin Upton. Led by their dynamic second baseman, the Braves finished the month of April pacing the NL in runs scored (151), hits (260), doubles (66), batting average (.268), on-base percentage (.342) and slugging percentage (.440), and entered May with a winning record for the first time since 2014. Others receiving votes for NL Player of the Month included NL Rookie of the Month Christian Villanueva (.321, 15 R, 8 HR, 19 RBI) of the San Diego Padres; infielder Javier Báez (.280, 20 R, 18 XBH, 26 RBI) of the Chicago Cubs; two-time All-Star Asdrúbal Cabrera (.340, 20 R, 14 XBH, 17 RBI) of the New York Mets; outfielders Odúbel Herrera (.343, 16 R, 9 XBH, 13 RBI) and Rhys Hoskins (.303, 16 R, 12 XBH, 19 RBI) of the Philadelphia Phillies; All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman (.314, 19 R, 11 2B, 19 RBI) of the Braves; and five-time All-Star Bryce Harper (23 R, 8 HR, 19 RBI, .458 OBP) of the Washington Nationals.