Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion has been voted the Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month for May. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor of 24 of 30 clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the National League Player of the Month Award.
Encarnacion batted .281 (32-for-114) with five doubles, one triple, 16 home runs, 33 RBI, 26 runs scored and 16 walks in 30 games to claim his first career Player of the Month Award and the first for the Blue Jays since his teammate Jose Bautista took home A.L. Player of the Month honors in June 2012. Among league leaders in April with a minimum of 84 plate appearances, the 31-year-old finished first in home runs, slugging percentage (.763) and extra-base hits (22), tied for first in runs scored and was second in the league in RBI.
The right-handed-hitting Encarnacion, who has become one of Baseball's premier sluggers over the last few seasons, put together one of the more impressive offensive months in Blue Jays history during May. His 16 homers set a new Club record for any month, surpassing Bautista (14 HR in June 2012) and it was the most by any player in the month of May since Barry Bonds launched a Major League record 17 homers in 2001. In addition, the 16 blasts in May tied for second all-time with Mickey Mantle (1956) and Mark McGwire (1998) and were the most hit in any month since Sammy Sosa hit 17 homers in August 2001. Edwin's 33 RBI were the most in Club history for May (surpassing George Bell's 31 RBI in 1987) and was one shy of the team mark in any calendar month held by Carlos Delgado (34 RBI in June 2003). The 31-year-old also claimed the most extra-base hits in May for a Blue Jay and tied for second with John Olerud (June 1993) and Joe Carter (June 1991) for the most by a Toronto hitter in any month.
Encarnacion's power was on display throughout the month as the 2013 All-Star collected five multi-homer games. On May 8th, Edwin went 3-for- 4 with a pair of homers and three RBI as the Blue Jays doubled up the visiting Philadelphia Phillies, 12-6, at the Rogers Centre. The shots were his third and fourth in the four-game series against the Phils, doubling his total homer output for all of April (2 HR in 27 games). On May 15th against Cleveland, the ninth round draft pick in 2000 (by Texas) doubled and homered twice as the Jays topped the Indians, 4-2. The 10-year veteran launched a pair of homers in back-to-back tilts against the Boston Red Sox on May 20th-21st, both Blue Jay victories, en route to a three-game sweep at Fenway Park. After homering in three straight games between May 25th-27th for the third time in May (also May 6th-8th and May 18th-21st), the Dominican Republic native went 2-for-4 with two homers and four RBI on May 29th, but Toronto was edged out by visiting Kansas City, 8-6.
Others receiving votes included Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (.380, 8 HR, 34 RBI) and Victor Martinez (.372, 9 HR, 21 RBI); and Baltimore's Nelson Cruz (.339, 13 HR, 27 RBI).
The Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month, Edwin Encarnacion, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.