Originally written on SF Giants Nirvana  |  Last updated 5/31/12

With the Giants’ scheduled off-day today, Melky Cabrera‘s impressive May draws to an end. Through 29 games this month, Melky came to the plate 129 times; 51 of those plate appearances ended with a hit. With those 51 hits, Melky led the majors and in fact had 11 more hits than any other player — although a few players have a chance to shorten that gap today. Additionally, he tied the San Francisco era franchise record for hits in a month, matching Randy Winn‘s total from September of 2005.

Only three of his hits left the yard though, and he only managed six unintentional walks; so despite the high batting average, he “only” comes out to a 204 wRC+ (still, that puts him fifth in the majors, and fourth in the National League!). Overall, Melky produced +15.9 weighted runs above average this month, which is a remarkable total.

But as good as it is, it doesn’t come close to touching what Randy Winn accomplished in 2005 — a distinction that’s clearly illustrated by their respective slugging percentages. Melky slugged .647 this month; Winn slugged .862 in the last month (September plus a couple October games) of 2005. And because of the extra power production, Winn totaled an astounding +23.7 wRAA (in 133 PA).

Of course, none of this is to diminish what Melky did this month ( if anything, it gives a renewed sense of appreciation for what Winn did). He was fantastic in terms of his complete offensive contributions, but he was other-worldly in terms of compiling hits. Given the high batting average, I’d assume Cabrera has a very good shot at National League Player of the Month — certainly well deserved. And frankly, it’s scary to think where the Giants would be without Melky’s bat. His record-tying month effectively masked an otherwise punchless offense. Even with Melky in the lineup almost every day, the Giants hit like the Padres in May. I’d say the Melk Man did a pretty good job taking a lot of the sting out of Pablo Sandoval’s absence.

Anyway, this all only adds to the Melky Cabrera contract extension buzz. Tempting as it may be to lock Melky up right now, I think Brian Sabean is taking the right approach. I mean, Melky is currently getting mentioned along with the likes of Carl Crawford and Adam Jones for potential long-term contracts. It’s important that the Giants remain prudent, patient, and cautious with the 27-year-old.

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