Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis 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.
Kipnis, who claimed two A.L. Player of the Week awards during the month, batted .419 (39-for-93) with 12 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 25 RBI, 17 runs scored and 30 walks in 27 games to earn his first career monthly honor. He is the first member of the Tribe to claim the league's Player of the Month Award since Shin-Soo Choo was tabbed in September 2008. Among A.L. leaders with a minimum of 81 plate appearances during the month, the 26-year-old finished first in batting average and on-base percentage (.517); tied for first in hits; ranked second in doubles, RBI, slugging percentage (.699) and extra-base hits (17); tied for second in walks; and was tied for 11th in runs scored. Among Major League leaders, his on-base percentage ranked first; his batting average was second; and his slugging percentage was third overall. In addition, the Illinois native reached base safely in each of his 27 games played in June as he continues an on-base string of 33 straight contests dating back to May 26th. It is the longest such streak for the Indians since Victor Martinez reached base safely in 45 consecutive games split over the 2005-06 seasons.
Among his highlights, the Arizona State University product went 3-for-5 with a double and a home run as Cleveland topped the Texas Rangers, 5-2, on June 12th in Arlington. Back in Cleveland against the Washington Nationals on June 14th, Kipnis used his bat to provide the home fans with some late-inning excitement as he ripped a sharp, one-out grounder to the first-base side of the infield to score Drew Stubbs from third as the Tribe walked off 2-1 winners at Progressive Field. Kipnis and the Indians took two-of-three from the reigning N.L. East Champions as Cleveland's second-round pick in the 2009 Draft went 5-for-9 with three RBI in the series. On June 22nd against the Minnesota Twins, the lefthanded-hitting Kipnis finished a home run shy of batting for the cycle to lead the Indians to an 8-7 victory in Cleveland. Jason roped a two-RBI double in the first inning as part of a six-run frame in the triumph. In the first game of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on June 28th, the three-year veteran went 3-for-4 with three doubles, three walks, two RBI and four runs scored to drive Cleveland to a 19-10 win at U.S. Cellular Field. He added a walk, an RBI-single and a sacrifice fly in a 9-8 Indians win in the nightcap to finish the day a combined 4-for-7 with three doubles, four walks, four RBI and five runs scored.
Others receiving votes included Chris Davis (.290, 12 HR, 30 RBI) of the Baltimore Orioles; Miguel Cabrera (.378, 9 HR, 21 RBI) of the Detroit Tigers; Mike Trout (.358, 11 2B, 15 RBI) and Howie Kendrick (.356, .414 OBP) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; and Edwin Encarnacion (.277, 8 HR, 20 RBI) of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month, Jason Kipnis, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.