5:24 AM UTC
The Major League Baseball regular season is six months long, which allows us to break the season into six convenient chunks. Each of these chunks is equal, even if it doesn’t seem that way at the time; it always feels, in the moment, that the first and last months count more.
But throughout the season, we are putting together an All-Star team for each month. As we wrap up this thrilling third month of baseball, here’s an All-Star pick from each league, at each position, for June. Here are the best players over the last month.
Each player is listed with his key stats for June, entering Thursday.
Kirk and d’Arnaud have put up two of the five highest OPS figures of any player this month (minimum 15 games). Kirk, in particular, was a monster, posting a .459 OBP and more walks than strikeouts. He’ll be a well-deserved All-Star Game starter at Dodger Stadium.
Goldschmidt likely won’t win NL Player of the Month again like he did in May, but he was nearly as good in June and continues to be the frontrunner for what would be his first MVP Award. Oh, and speaking of MVP candidates, here comes Vlad. If he has a couple more months like the one he just had, he’ll zoom up the list himself.
Paredes plays all over the infield, but he was at second base more than he was anywhere else, so that’s where we reward his huge month. Cronenworth continues to be one of the main — and one of the quietest — reasons the Padres are keeping pace with the Dodgers near the top of the NL West.
You may vaguely remember these two shortstops from, uh, last year’s World Series. They both took huge steps forward in June, for teams that are right in the thick of division races.
After performing well in spot duty with the Mets last year, Drury has gotten a chance to play full-time in Cincinnati in 2022, and he has soared. He’s already tied his career high in home runs (16, set with Arizona in ’16) and, somehow, he’s the centerpiece of this Reds lineup.
Seeing Devers here is considerably less surprising.
Want to know another reason the Braves are so hot? How about Harris, whose defense has settled down the entire Braves outfield but is also hitting .351? As for the AL outfield, I swear I’m not trying to be boring. It’s just that those three guys, when they’re healthy, are always on top.
You might not believe a DH can win an MVP, but if you don’t have the same restrictions on Player of the Month, Alvarez is an overwhelming candidate. He put together an absolutely ridiculous month, the best of his (already terrific) career so far. Now we just have to hope that Wednesday’s horrific outfield collision in New York doesn’t keep him out of action for long.
And pour one out for Harper, too. He of course broke his left thumb after being hit by a Blake Snell fastball. When the pitch happened, Harper was on yet another tear. Maybe he’ll be back in time to be the best DH again in September.
It wasn’t that long ago that these two were rotation mates in Chicago. Rod?n, perhaps unsurprisingly, has gotten even better in San Francisco, though it’s tough to do better than Cease, who gave up only one earned run (but also nine unearned runs) over five starts.
I’m not sure it’s possible to have a better month than Clase, who held hitters to a .277 OPS. The NL pick would have been Ryan Helsley (who hadn’t been scored upon all month) until, with one out left in the last game of the month for the Cardinals, he gave up a two-run homer that cost St. Louis a big game against the Marlins.