As the calendar flipped to June, eight big leaguers had to make space on their shelves for some hardware after being recognized among the best performers from May.Owners will now have to determine whether those eight players can help bring home a fantasy title, or if this is the perfect
As the calendar flipped to June, eight big leaguers had to make space on their shelves for some hardware after being recognized among the best performers from May.
Owners will now have to determine whether those eight players can help bring home a fantasy title, or if this is the perfect time to sell high. Find out below how to proceed.
AL Player of the Month: Carlos Correa, shortstop, Astros
Not surprisingly, the latest AL Player of the Month comes from an Astros lineup that scored 21 more runs (180) than any other team during May. Correa broke out of an April slump (.233 average, .658 OPS) to anchor Houston's high-scoring attack out of the cleanup spot, hitting .386 with seven homers, 26 RBIs, 24 runs scored and a 1.130 OPS. And while he has yet to flash the speed aspect of his five-category profile, the 22-year-old should produce enough with his bat to rank among the top tier of fantasy shortstops.
Advice: Hold this elite young talent.
AL Pitcher of the Month: Lance McCullers, starter, Astros
McCullers is the second Houston starter to nab this award in 2017, going 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP during May after teammate Dallas Keuchel dominated the opposition in April. But as a notable injury risk who made just 14 starts last season and produced a 4.34 ERA during April, the right-hander is a sell-high candidate for owners who have the necessary rotation depth to cover his absence or can package him for a safer ace.
Advice: Sell for a hitter if you have pitching depth, or package him for a less-risky ace.
AL Rookie of the Month: Aaron Judge, outfielder, Yankees
Judge mashed his way to this award for a second straight month, hitting .347 with seven homers and 17 RBIs across 95 at-bats. The slugger even flashed a speed component by swiping three bags. While Judge will be hard-pressed to maintain his current pace and reach the 50-homer plateau, he has proven himself to the point where owners would need a massive return before dealing him away.
Advice: Hold and expect a 40-homer campaign.
AL Reliever of the Month: Craig Kimbrel, reliever, Red Sox
Kimbrel was an obvious choice for this award after compiling seven saves and posting a ridiculous 25-to-1 K/BB ratio across 12 2/3 scoreless innings last month. His dominant May came on the heels of a stellar April (1.59 ERA, eight saves), making Kimbrel the most productive fantasy reliever to this point in 2017. With the combination of his recent success and eye-popping lifetime statistics (1.80 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 271 saves), the right-hander has put to rest any concerns about a performance dip last year (3.40 ERA).
Advice: Hold unless you are flush with closers.
NL Player of the Month: Charlie Blackmon, outfielder, Rockies
From his perch atop the lineup, Blackmon paced a high-scoring Rockies offense by hitting .359 with six homers, 22 RBIs and 24 runs scored during May. The sparkplug also showed some signs of recapturing his former base-stealing glory by swiping a trio of bags. Blackmon has emerged as one of the safest five-category studs by producing 42 homers, 129 RBIs, 150 runs scored, 21 stolen bases and a .323 average across 889 plate appearances since the outset of 2016.
Advice: Hold this top 10 fantasy asset.
NL Pitcher of the Month: Alex Wood, starter, Dodgers
Wood won May's best pitcher award despite finishing the month on the disabled list, as he dominated Senior Circuit foes and went 5-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 41 strikeouts across 28 1/3 innings prior to being sidelined with a shoulder injury. The left-hander has spent time on the DL with arm injuries during each of the past two seasons, so he will be a sell-high candidate when he returns. But he is someone to hold for now until he proves to be healthy and effective once again.
Advice: Hold until he returns. Consider selling if he enjoys another dominant stretch.
NL Rookie of the Month: Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, Dodgers
Bellinger may be the best sell-high candidate on this list after he compiled nine homers, 27 RBIs and 22 runs scored during May. Sure, the 21-year-old is a talented young prospect who could top the 30-homer mark, but he also hit just .245 with 40 strikeouts across 118 plate appearances last month. Without quelling his swing-and-miss tendencies, Bellinger could have some unproductive stretches -- especially if his 25.6 percent HR/FB rate declines in the coming weeks.
Advice: Sell if you're in need of help at another position.
NL Reliever of the Month: Greg Holland, reliever, Rockies
Holland joins Judge as the only two players to land monthly awards in both April and May. The right-hander was even better during the past month than he was in April, posting a 1.17 ERA and a 15-to-1 K/BB ratio across 7 2/3 innings. Sure, converting save chances at Coors Field has proven to be a difficult task for many relievers. But owners should be willing to stick with Holland, who has clearly rediscovered the form that resulted in stellar statistics (93 saves, 1.32 ERA, 0.89 WHIP) with the Royals across 2013-14.
Advice: Hold unless you are flush with closers.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.