Jay Bruce takes player of the month honors in May and is the first Red to do so since Adam Dunn did it in 2006. With as hot as he’s been, can the June award be far behind? — Amanda
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for May. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor for 24 of 30 MLB clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the National League and American League Player of the Month Awards.
In 28 games this past month, the left-handed hitting slugger had a Major League-best 12 home runs and 33 RBI, while leading the National League in runs scored (23), slugging percentage (.739) and extra-base hits (19). Bruce’s 38 hits were tied for third among National Leaguers and his .342 (38-for-111) batting average was tied for fourth.
The Texas native’s home run and RBI totals were the highest in a calendar month by a Reds batter since Adam Dunn’s 12 long balls in July 2008 and Greg Vaughn’s 33 RBI in September 1999. On May 10th, the 24-year-old powered the Reds to a 10-4 win over the visiting Houston Astros, going 3-for-4 with a double and a home run. On May 24th, Bruce’s ninth-inning double off of Philadelphia reliever Ryan Madson broke a 3-3 tie and led the Reds to a 6-3 victory at Citizens Bank Park.
He earned his second career N.L. Player of the Week Award after clubbing four home runs and leading the Majors with 13 RBI and 25 totals bases during the week of May 23-29. The 12th overall selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft notched his fifth three-RBI performance of the month on May 30th, going 3-for-4 with a triple and a home run as the Reds defeated the Brewers, 7-3, at Great American Ball Park. Bruce’s 46 RBI are tied for first in the Majors this season and his 17 home runs lead the National League. His 32 home runs since August 2010 are the most in the N.L during that span. This marks his first-career monthly award.
Other players receiving votes included shortstop Jose Reyes of the New York Mets, who led the National League with a .364 batting average and 11 stolen bases while collecting 40 hits; Astros outfielder
Hunter Pence, who batted .342 with 40 hits, four home runs and 22 RBI on the month; and Washington’s Mike Morse, who had six home runs and 15 RBI in only 64 plate appearances.
The Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month, Jay Bruce, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, in recognition of his accomplishment.