It didn’t come as a surprise considering the numbers he’d amassed, but it’s still a nice honor for any player. On Monday. Nelson Cruz was selected as the American League player of the month for April by Major League Baseball.
In 22 games in April, Cruz hit .322 (28-for-87) with 10 home runs, three doubles a triple and 22 RBI. He also posted a .372 on-base percentage and a .724 slugging percentage to earn his first player of the month award. The last position player to win the award for the Mariners was Ichiro Suzuki in August of 2004. Cruz’s April numbers are even more impressive considering he went a hitless 0-for-15 in his first four games of the season.
The 10 home runs in April was a career high, including homers in five straight games. The total was the third most in Mariners’ history for the month of Apri. . Ken Griffey Jr. hit 13 in April of 1997 and 11 in April of 1998.
His 10 home runs in April were 3rd-most in club history (trails: Ken Griffey Jr. – 13 in ‘97, 11 in ‘98) and his 10 home runs were most in any April in his career (had 7 in ‘11 and ‘10) and 2nd-most in a single month (13 in May, 2014). He hit a home run in 5 consecutive games (6 total) April 11-15, which was tied for 2nd in team history behind Ken Griffey Jr., 8; and tied with Jay Buhner (2x), Richie Zisk & Alex Rodriguez.
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For the season, he is hitting .343 (34-for-99) with 13 home runs, 25 RBI, a .387 on-base percentage, a .788 slugging percentage and a 1.175 OPS in 25 games.
Others receiving votes included Adam Jones (.400, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 17 R, 6 2B) of the Baltimore Orioles; Miguel Cabrera (.373, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 12 R) of the Detroit Tigers; Jose Altuve (.367, 13 R, 16 RBI, 9 SB) of the Houston Astros; Hanley Ramirez (.293, 10 HR, 22 RBI, 16 R) of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout (.329, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 20 R, 6 SB) of the Los Angeles Angels.
In the National League, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers was named the player of the month.
Felix Hernandez did receive some votes for the AL pitcher of the month after going 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five starts with 36 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings pitched and complete game shutout. But the award went to Houston’s Dallas Keuchel won the award, going 3-0 with a 0.73 ERA in five starts with 22 strikeouts in 37 inning pitched. Gerrit Cole won the NL award.
Blue Jays outfielder Devon Travis was named the AL Rookie of the Month, while Alex Guerrero was named the NL rookie of the month.