Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for April. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor for 25 of 30 MLB clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the American League Player of the Month Award.
In 23 April contests, Harper hit .286 (22-for-77) while leading the Majors with a .714 slugging percentage. His 24 RBI were tied for the most in the Majors last month, while his nine homers were tied for second. The reigning NL Most Valuable Player added a .406 on-base percentage, six doubles and 16 runs scored to his monthly totals, while swiping five bases (T-4th, NL).
The 23-year-old started the 2016 campaign by homering in his first at bat of the season on April 4th in a 4-3 victory at Atlanta. The long ball marked his fourth career Opening Day home run (also two in 2013 and one in 2015), which according to the Elias Sports Bureau, are the most by any player under the age of 24 in the modern era. Harper posted a career-best streak of four consecutive games with a home run from April 14th-17th, hitting .533 (8-for-15) with four home runs and 10 RBI in that span. He blasted his first career grand slam on April 14th in a 6-2 win over the visiting Braves. His long ball in an April 17th loss at Philadelphia marked his sixth consecutive game with a home run at Citizens Bank Park (dating back to September 14, 2015), which tied a Major League record by any visiting player at a single stadium (Elias Sports Bureau). The Nevada native clubbed his first career pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning of Washington's April 24th game against Minnesota. The solo shot tied the game at 4-4, paving the way to an eventual 6-5 victory for the Nationals. This is the second career Player of the Month honor for Harper, having also won for May 2015.
Other players receiving votes included Colorado's Nolan Arenado (.297, 21 R, 27 H, 10 HR, 22 RBI, .670 SLG); Michael Conforto (.365, 15 R, 27 H, 4 HR, 18 RBI, .676 SLG, .442 OBP) of the New York Mets; and Aledmys Diaz (.423, 18 R, 30 H, 4 HR, 13 RBI, .732 SLG, .453 OBP) of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for April 2016, Bryce Harper, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, in recognition of his accomplishment.