Indians' Kipnis claims AL Player of the Month
Second baseman batted .419, four home runs, beats out Davis, Cabrera, Trout
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis won a pair of American League Player of the Week awards for his performance at the plate during the month of June. His claiming of the AL Player of the Month title, then, does not come as much of a surprise.
Kipnis earned the recognition on Wednesday after he pieced together a month in which he batted .419 (39-for-93) with 12 doubles, four home runs, 25 RBIs and 17 runs scored. He reached base in all 27 games in which he appeared and compiled a .517 on-base percentage and .699 slugging percentage.
The 26-year-old led all qualifying AL hitters in batting average and on-base percentage, finished tied for first in hits and second in doubles, RBIs and slugging. Kipnis has reached base at least once in each of his last 33 contests, the longest streak by an Indians batter since Victor Martinez's 45-game stretch split over the 2005-06 campaigns.
"It was a great month. I definitely enjoyed it," Kipnis said Tuesday. "I definitely love the fact that we are winning games and we're in first place now. But it's July now. New month. I get to start back over in terms of that. Hopefully the team keeps some momentum going."
Kipnis collected three hits in a game on four occasions in June and two hits in a game seven more times. In a doubleheader against the White Sox last Friday, he reached base a total of eight times. The Indians swept the twin bill. Kipnis rested on Sunday, but in the 18 games prior to his day off, he batted .475 with a 1.447 OPS as the Tribe posted a 13-5 record.
"I know when he steps into the batter's box, we feel pretty good," manager Terry Francona said, "and I think he does, too."
Kipnis was selected ahead of Baltimore's Chris Davis, who slugged 12 homers and tallied 30 RBIs; Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, who batted .378 with nine homers and 21 RBIs; and Los Angeles' Mike Trout, who hit .358, and Howie Kendrick, who batted .356.