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April Awards

As the first month of the 2017 MLB season comes to a close, let’s take a minute to look back at all the action so far. Key Performers: Coming up from spring training, many players can have a hard time adjusting, but these players didn’t have any problems getting of the fast starts in April. Ryan Zimmerman (NL Player of The Month- Ryan Zimmerman has been a cornerstone for the Nationals for a while, but after struggling offensively after making the transition to first base batting a dismal .218 in 2016, it seemed as if Zimmerman’s time in the Nation’s capital was coming to a close. Coming into this year Zimmerman really had to prove himself at the plate if he wanted to keep his job on a team that’s continuously getting younger, and Zimmerman delivered. In the month of April, along with teammate Bryce Harper, Zimmerman lead the Nationals to first place in the NL East, and to the best record through April in all of baseball. When it came to hitting, Zimmerman was on another level batting an astounding .420 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs, earning him April NL player of the month honors over teammate Bryce Harper. Zimmerman has had an amazing start to the season, and has found his groove at the plate, once again rendering him a key piece of that Nationals team. Mike Trout (AL Player of The Month)- It’s not very surprising that Mike Trout is on this list, but the reigning MVP has had a really good start to the season. Through April trout has a .364 batting average with 18 RBIs and 7 homers, while also scoring 18 runs, not bad at all. Trout’s solid April has kept the Angles near the top of the division early, keeping any postseason hopes alive early on. Trout continues to show everyone while he deserves the title of “best player in the game”, and by the looks of it, he’ll be holding that title for a long time. Ivan Nova (NL Pitcher of The Month)- After being traded to the Pirates at the trade deadline last year, Ivan Nova has pitched like an ace. Within his first 3 starts after being traded to the Pirates last year Nova threw a complete game shutout en route to winning all of those first 3 starts. Nova’s looked like a new pitcher since heading over to Pittsburg and he continued his dominance this year, winning pitcher of the month for April. Nova’s 3-2 record might fool you because his 1.50 ERA and .75 WHIP showed the strength of the player nicknamed “Super Nova”. Nova has pitched like an ace, and arguably better than most aces, earning himself NL Pitcher of The Month honors to start the season. Dallas Keuchel (AL Pitcher of The Month)- The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner had a rough follow up campaign in 2016 going 9-12 with a 4.55 ERA, losing the title to Red Sox Rick Porcello. However in 2017, Keuchel regained his 2015 form going 5-0 in April with a 1.21 ERA earning himself AL Pitcher of The Month Honors. Keuchel also has a complete game this season, already tying his 2016 total. For Astros fans this is a nice bounceback for their ace, and for the rest of the league, they better fear the beard once more. Aaron Judge (AL Rookie of The Month)- The verdict is in and it says that Aaron Judge had a phenomenal month of April, crushing opposing pitching, and propelling his Yankees to first place in the AL East. Through April Judge hit .303 with 20 RBIs and a monstrous 10 homers tying Trevor Story and Jose Abreu for most home runs by a rookie in the month of April. Judge has also hit the ball like a rocket setting records for fastest exit velocity of a hit in the statcast era by hitting a home run that was 119.4 MPH off the bat. Judge also has 3 of the 10 hardest balls hit this season showing his ability to hit the ball for power, and to make solid contact. This is all happening after a dismal 2016 for Judge, a year where batted a dismal .179 with 4 home runs and 10 RBIs. This Judge who made his major league debut had these hitting stats in 27 games this year in 5 more games then he’s played this year. Judge has almost tripled his numbers from last year in less time justifying the hype he had a few years ago. Honorable Mentions: Despite the fact these guys didn’t win awards, these players still made big impacts for their teams to start the season. Bryce Harper- Harper was oh so close to winning player of the month in the NL arguably deserving it over teammate Ryan Zimmerman. Regardless, Harper had a historic April, litterally. This April Harper broke the record for most runs scored in April by anyone with 32. The 24 year old (yes, he’s only 24) continues to show why he’s one of the game’s best players, and despite a rocky 2016 season, Harper has come back and is swinging like the superstar he is. Avisail Garcia- This is a name that some people might not recognize, but the White Sox outfielder has a very solid start to the year. Garcia was near the top of the league in batting average sporting a .400 average or higher for the better part of the month. A player who’s said to be a little Miguel Cabrera may finally be becoming closer to dropping the little in little Miggy.

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