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Reds’ Gennett, Indians’ Lindor named MLB Players of the Month for May



Scooter Gennett at bat 2017 photo by Johnmaxmena2 - Own work - Own work via wikipedia commons

Francisco Lindor wiping brow after bad play 2017 photo By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, https

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for his play in May, and Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor has been voted the Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month for May.

Others receiving votes for NL Player of the Month included All-Star shortstop Brandon Crawford (.412, 16 R, 9 2B, 21 RBI) of the San Francisco Giants; All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado (.327, 21 R, 14 XBH, 21 RBI) of the Colorado Rockies; outfielder Nick Markakis (.362, 42 H, 11 2B, 20 RBI) of the Atlanta Braves; first baseman Jesús Aguilar (18 R, 8 HR, 22 RBI, .565 SLG) and All-Star outfielder Christian Yelich (.330, 22 R, 12 XBH, 17 RBI) of the Milwaukee Brewers; All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo (.303, 16 R, 13 XBH, 28 RBI) of the Chicago Cubs; and Scooter’s teammate, third baseman Eugenio Suàrez (16 R, 15 XBH, 29 RBI, .612 SLG).

All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts (.372, 18 XBH, 19 RBI, 10 SB) of the Boston Red Sox also posted an impressive month of May. Entering play today, Betts paces the Majors with 52 runs scored. Through Boston’s first 52 team games, his runs scored total was the highest since Hallof Famer Ted Williams (55) and Vern Stephens (52) in 1950. In addition, the Tennessee native became the first player in Red Sox lore to tally at least 18 extra-base hits and 10 stolen bases in a single calendar month. Others receiving votes for AL Player of the Month included Francisco’s All-Star teammates Michael Brantley (.333, 26 R, 14 XBH, 26 RBI) and José Ramírez (26 R, 12 2B, 11 HR, 25 RBI); Mookie’s All-Star teammate J.D. Martinez (7 2B, 13 HR, 25 RBI, .729 SLG); two-time AL MVP Mike Trout (26 R, 9 2B, 8 HR, 7 SB) of the Los Angeles Angels; and outfielder Jon Jay (.368, 17 R, 43 H, 6 2B) of the Kansas City Royals.

Gennett batted .398 (37-for-93) with 16 runs scored, six doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBI over 26 games played to claim his first career NL Player of the Month Award. This is Cincinnati’s first Player of the Month Award this season, and the first since Jay Bruce in May 2011. Among qualified NL sluggers for the month of May, Scooter finished his strong month first in slugging percentage (.720); second in batting average; third in RBI; tied for third in home runs; fourth in hits and on-base percentage (.418); and tied for seventh in extra-base hits (14).

During a six-game hitting streak from May 6th-12th, Gennett batted .538 (14-for-26) with seven runs scored, three doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI to lead the Reds to a 4-2 record. Beginning on May 7th, the left-handed-hitting slugger homered with at least two-or-more RBI in four straight games. Since RBI became an official statistic in 1920, Gennett became the sixth player in franchise history to homer and record at least two RBI in four consecutive games, joining Devin Mesoraco (June 20-24, 2014), Bruce (September 2-5, 2012), Eric Davis (September 3-6, 1984), Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (July 22- 24, 1961) and Ted Kluszewski (July 4-7, 1956). On May 22nd against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 28-year-old batted 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, one double and a grand slam to propel the Reds to a 7-2 victory. The six-year veteran tallied six RBI in the outing for the second time of his career, and the first since his historic four-homer, 10-RBI outing on June 6th of last season against the St. Louis Cardinals. Across a pair of games from May 26th-27th, Gennett, who earned a pair of NL Player of the Week Awards this month (May 13th and May 27th), notched a hit in seven consecutive plate appearances, including five singles, a double and one home run. The impressive stretch was the longest such streak by a Reds player since Arismendy Alcántara posted a streak of seven consecutive plate appearances from April 30-May 8, 2017.

Lindor posted a slash line of .373/.432/.737 with 27 runs scored, 44 hits, 13 doubles, 10 home runs, 23 RBI, 12 walks and a stolen base over 27 games played to claim his first career AL Player of the Month Award. Among qualified AL hitters, the switch hitter finished his strong month first in runs scored, hits, doubles and batting average; third in slugging percentage; tied for third in home runs and on-base percentage; and tied for sixth in RBI. This is Cleveland’s first Player of the Month Award since Francisco’s double play partner Jason Kipnis in May 2015.

On May 12th against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field, Lindor batted 4-for-4 with four runs scored, a pair of doubles, two home runs and two RBI to lead the Indians to a 6-2 victory. The 24-year-old became the first Indians leadoff hitter to tally four extra-base hits in a single game since current Tribe skipper Terry Francona’s father, Tito, on July 3, 1954 against the Chicago White Sox. In addition, Lindor became just the third player in franchise history to tally at least four runs scored, four hits, two doubles and two home runs in a single contest, joining Kelly Shoppach (July 30, 2008) and Joe Carter (September 6, 1986). Similarly, the Puerto Rico native finished his month in grand fashion, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored, two doubles, two home runs and four RBI in his final contest of the month on May 31st against the Minnesota Twins. Lindor’s outing with two doubles, a pair of homers and four RBI was the first of its kind in Indians history since Casey Blake accomplished the feat on July 5, 2003 against the Twins, and just the fifth such performance in Club history. Since 1908, the eighth overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft became just the seventh player in Baseball to record at least 27 runs scored, 13 doubles, 10 round-trippers and a .373 batting average in a single month, joining Richard Hidalgo (September 2000), Albert Belle (August 1995), Rafael Palmeiro (July 1993), and Hall of Famers Chuck Klein (July 1930), Rogers Hornsby (1922) and Babe Ruth (August 1921).

The Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month, Scooter Gennett, and the Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month, Francisco Lindor, will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.

Read more: MLB