Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for July. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor for 23 of 30 MLB clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the American League Player of the Month Award.
McCutchen takes the N.L. honors for the second consecutive month after leading the Majors with 41 hits. In 25 games, McCutchen’s .446 (41-for-92) average ranked second among qualifying Major Leaguers while his 68 total bases were the third-most in the Majors. His 22 runs scored, .739 slugging percentage and .510 on-base percentage ranked second among N.L. players while his seven home runs were tied for fifth. The two-time All-Star also ranked among N.L. leaders with 15 RBI. McCutchen set a franchise record for the highest batting average (min: 50 AB) during the month of July in the modern era (since 1900). His 41 hits were the most by a Pirate in a single calendar month since Freddy Sanchez collected 46 in August 2007. On July 31st, the 25-year-old capped the month with a 3-for-5 effort in a 5-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, marking his Major Leagueleading 16th three-hit performance and his 12th multi-hit outing of the month. On July 17th, the 11th overall pick of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft collected a pair of hits, including his 21st homer, in a 6-2 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field. McCutchen garnered N.L. Player of the Week honors for the week ending July 8th after leading the league with a .517 (15-for-29) batting average along with with three home runs, nine RBI and 11 runs scored. On July 2nd, McCutchen notched his fifth four-hit game of the season, a Major League-best, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored in an 11-2 victory over the visiting Houston Astros. The Florida native leads the Majors with a .373 batting average and a .632 slugging percentage on the season. With 22 homers, he is just one short of tying his previous career best. McCutchen, who played in his second career Midsummer Classic on July 10th at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, becomes the first Bucs player to win two Player of the Month honors in the same season since Bobby Bonilla accomplished the feat in 1988 (Bonilla also won in back-to-back months, winning the award for April and May). Overall, the last N.L. player to accomplish the feat was Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard (August and September 2006).
Other players receiving votes included Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman (.366, 37 H, 9 2B, 10 HR, 24 RBI, .752 SLG); Milwaukee’s Aramis Ramirez (.373, 38 H, 12 2B, 4 HR, 21 RBI); Arizona’s Jason Kubel (.279, 11 HR, 22 RBI, .733 SLG); Matt Holliday (.363, 8 2B, 7 HR, 22 RBI, .681 SLG) and David Freese (.458, 33 H, 2 HR, 11 RBI) of the Cardinals; and San Francisco’s Buster Posey (.381, 9 2B, 3 HR, 21 RBI, .448 OBP) and Melky Cabrera (.355, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 15 R).
The Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for July, Andrew McCutchen, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, in recognition of his accomplishment.