Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star utilityman Josh Harrison has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for August. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor for 24 of 30 MLB clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the American League Player of the Month Award.
Harrison led the N.L. in total bases (71), extra-base hits (19), hits (41) and slugging percentage (.602) last month while tying for third in runs (21) and ranking sixth in hitting with a .347 (41-for-118) batting average. The University of Cincinnati product added nine RBI and four stolen bases to his monthly totals, while getting on-base at a .374 clip. His 41 hits were the most by a Pirate in a single calendar month since Andrew McCutchen also had 41 in July 2012.
Harrison started the month on a tear, collecting hits in eight straight games to open August as part of a 13-game streak dating back to July 27th. His 3-for-4 performance on August 2nd, which included a solo home run, helped the Bucs to an 8-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. It was one of 11 multi-hit games for Harrison last month. On August 22nd, the 2014 N.L. All-Star collected a career-high five RBI in an 8-3 win over the N.L. Central-rival Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Harrison went 3-for-5 in the contest, clubbing a double and a home run in the victory. Harrison's clutch hitting helped the Pirates sneak past the Reds in a 2-1 victory at PNC Park on August 29th. The 27-year-old sparked a Bucs rally with an eighth-inning RBI triple to knot the game at 1-1. Harrison would come home to score the eventual winning run on Jose Tabata's subsequent single before Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon closed out the win. In addition to the triple, Harrison collected a double and a single in the outing for his sixth three-hit game of the month. The Ohio native clubbed his second leadoff homer of the season (also: 7/29) in Sunday's series finale with the Reds, becoming the first Pirate to lead off a game with a home run twice in the same season since Andrew McCutchen did so in 2011. Harrison's 13 home runs this year are a career high. This is his first career monthly award and marks the first time that two Pirates position players (also: McCutchen, June 2014) have been voted N.L. Player of the Month in the same season since 1990 (Bobby Bonilla, April and Barry Bonds, July).
Other players receiving votes included Miami's Giancarlo Stanton (.289, 14 R, 28 R, 8 HR, 25 RBI, .567, .431 OBP); San Francisco's Buster Posey (.336, 19 R, 6 HR, 17 RBI, .579 SLG), Hunter Pence (.314, 22 R, 37 H, 5 HR, 22 RBI, .551 SLG) and Pablo Sandoval (.336, 16 R, 38 H, 3 HR, 18 RBI); Atlanta's Justin Upton (.291, 16 R, 30 H, 7 HR, 28 RBI, .563 SLG); Jon Jay (.382, 29 H, 2 HR, 15 RBI) of the St. Louis Cardinals; and Adrian Gonzalez (.337, 12, 32 H, 4 HR, 20 RBI, .537 SLG) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for August 2014, Josh Harrison, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, in recognition of his accomplishment.