Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for May. 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 29 games last month, Murphy led the Majors in hitting with a .416 (47-for-113) batting average. The left-handed-hitting infielder paced the NL in hits during the month of May and ranked second with 76 total bases. He also ranked among league leaders with a .673 slugging percentage (3rd), 23 RBI (T-3rd), seven home runs (T-5th) and a .424 on-base percentage (8th), while collecting eight doubles and 17 runs scored.
On Tuesday, the 31-year-old slugger capped the month with a 2-for-4 performance, collecting his 46th and 47th hits for the month and notching his Major Leaguebest 26th multi-hit game of the season. The 47 hits surpassed his previous career high for a single month (40 in July 2011) and were the most compiled by a NL player in a calendar month since May 2012 (Melky Cabrera, 51). Murphy's May hit parade also tied a Nationals/Expos franchise record for hits in a single month, joining Al Oliver (August 1982) and Marquis Grissom (June 1994). The veteran of seven big league seasons, who signed with Washington in January, finished the season's second month with a Major League-leading .397 batting average. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last qualified player to have as high a batting average through May during his first season with a new team was Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, who hit .397 through the first two calendar months of the 1996 campaign as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. This is the first career monthly award for Murphy, and second consecutive NL Player of the Month honor won by a Washington Nationals player (Bryce Harper won for April). The last pair of teammates to have won the award in consecutive months during the same season were Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick, who did so in June and July of 2009 as members of the St. Louis Cardinals. In addition, this marks the first time since the Players of the Month Awards were given out in each league (since 1974) that two teammates in the NL won for each of the first two months of the season.
Other players receiving votes included Miami's Marcell Ozuna (.411, 25 R, 46 H, 7 HR, 17 RBI, .705 SLG, .450 OBP); Cincinnati's Adam Duvall (.289, 19 R, 28 H, 11 HR, 24 RBI, .691 SLG, .314 OBP); and Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy (.300, 17 R, 30 H, 9 HR, 22 RBI, .650 SLG, .348 OBP).
The Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for May 2016, Daniel Murphy, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, in recognition of his accomplishment.