Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has been voted the Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month for June. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor of 23 of 30 clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the National League Player of the Month Award.
Bautista batted .271 (26-for-96) with four doubles, 14 home runs, 30 RBI, 22 walks and 24 runs scored in 27 games during June to capture his fifth career monthly award. Jose previously took home honors in July and August 2010 and April and May 2011. Among Major League leaders with at least 81 plate appearances, the 31-year-old finished tops in homers, RBI and slugging percentage (.750), tied for first in walks and extra-base hits (18) and tied for third in runs scored and total bases (72). His 14 homers established a new Club record for the most hit in any single month and it marked the most hit in a calendar month by any player since Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki hit 15 round trippers in September 2010. It also was the most for an A.L. player since New York’s Alex Rodriguez hit 14 home runs in April 2007. Since 2010, Bautista has led the Majors with 123 home runs, including a Major League-best 81 first-half homers. After hitting just three homers in April, the right-handed hitting Bautista found his stroke in May and has totaled 23 homers with 35 walks, 52 RBI and 44 runs scored over a two-month string through the end of June. On June 19th, the nine-year veteran enjoyed his 17th career multi-homer game, and his first since May 11th at Minnesota, as part of a 2-for-4 effort with three runs scored to lead Toronto past the Milwaukee Brewers, 10-9, in an Interleague showdown at Miller Park. For the second time in the game, this time in the top of the ninth inning, Bautista followed a Colby Rasmus homer with one of his own as the Blue Jays came back to claim their first win in Wisconsin since the 1996 season. Three days later on June 22nd, the Dominican Republic native singled, homered, walked twice and scored three runs to help the Jays top the Miami Marlins, 12-5, in Miami. Rounding out the month, the 20th round draft pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft (by Pittsburgh) established a new career milestone with a run-scoring single in the second inning of Toronto’s June 30th contest with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to register his 500th career RBI. Bautista, who will be making his third All-Star appearance and second consecutive start on July 10th in Kansas City, currently leads the Majors in homers (26), ranks second in RBI (63), is tied for fourth in runs scored (56) and tied for fifth in walks (51).