Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/20/14

We've reached September, and the playoffs are upon us. The status quo stayed strong in August, with no playoff teams changing from the beginning of the month until the end of the month. But which players stepped up the most, and which disappointed? Time for the best and worst MLB players of August. AL Hitter of the Month Miguel Cabrera, Tigers. While dealing with nagging injuries this month, Cabrera continued his march to possibly another Triple Crown and certainly another MVP award. In August, he hit .356/.430/.733 with 11 homers. Fun fact of the month: Cabrera's .376 ISO in August was higher than all but two AL players' batting averages in August. Oh. Honorable mentions: Mike Trout, Angels; Shane Victorino, Red Sox; Adrian Beltre, Rangers; Robinson Cano, Yankees; Jason Castro, Astros April winner: Chris Davis, Orioles May winner: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers June winner: Jason Kipnis, Indians July winner: Kyle Seager, Mariners AL Worst Hitter of the Month Nick Franklin, Mariners. Yeah, Franklin is a rookie, but his August was awful. Franklin hit just .107/.194/.214 this month, and if weren't for his two homers, his statline would look positively abysmal. Franklin topped his dreadful month off by striking out in a third of his plate appearances in August, the third highest mark in the league over the month. Dishonorable mentions: Jose Altuve, Astros; Alcides Escobar, Royals; Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees; Nick Markakis, Orioles; Michael Bourn, Indians April "winner": Josh Hamilton, Angels May "winner": Alcides Escobar, Royals June "winner": Vernon Wells, Yankees July "winner": Alcides Escobar, Royals NL Hitter of the Month Scooter Gennett, Brewers. Who in the Hell is Scooter Gennett? Milwaukee's rookie second baseman hit .423/.452/.654 for the month and homering four times in the month. Sure, he's not going to post a .483 BABIP for the whole year, but this is still pretty fun for Brewers fans. Honorable mentions: Jayson Werth, Nationals; Will Venable, Padres; Brandon Belt, Giants; Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks; Justin Upton, Braves April winner: Justin Upton, Braves May winner: Joey Votto, Reds June winner: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers July winner: Jayson Werth, Nationals NL Worst Hitter of the Month Pete Kozma, Cardinals. It's funny. Kozma had a .952 OPS in 26 games in 2012 for the Cardinals, and was immediately hailed as the savior and a long-term solution at short for St Louis. His OPS is down by over 400 points this year, and in August, Kozma hit .063/.193/.083 in his 56 plate appearances. Small sample size or not, that's horrendous. I mean, he only had three hits. Yikes. Dishonorable mentions: Dan Uggla, Braves; Adeiny Hechavarria, Marlins; Donovan Solano, Marlins; Jimmy Rollins, Phillies; Starlin Castro, Cubs April "winner": Adam LaRoche, Nationals May "winner": Ike Davis, Mets June "winner"; Starlin Castro, Cubs July "winner": Jedd Gyorko, Padres AL Pitcher of the Month Yu Darvish, Rangers. No one really stood out in the AL this past month on the hill, so the ol' standby Darvish gets the nod. In six starts, the Rangers' ace threw 43 innings, posted a 2.51 ERA, struck out 64 hitters, and walked 13. He's also notched eight quality starts going back to the All-Star Break. Not bad, Yu...not bad. Honorable mentions: David Price, Rays; Max Scherzer, Tigers; Jarrod Parker, Athletics; Ivan Nova, Yankees; Anibal Sanchez, Tigers April winner: Yu Darvish, Rangers May winner: Derek Holland, Rangers June winner: Chris Sale, White Sox July winner: Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees AL Worst Pitcher of the Month Joe Saunders, Mariners. This is your daily reminder that the Mariners thought they could contend in the second half. In August, Saunders posted a 6.00 ERA in 33 innings and six starts, striking out ten and walking 16. That is...how do you say...not good. He actually had a ton of competition this month, but considering his salary, Saunders get the nod. Dishonorable mentions: Jeremy Hellickson, Rays; Aaron Harang, Mariners; Esmil Rogers, Blue Jays; Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles; Roberto Hernandez, Rays April "winner": Brett Myers, Indians May "winner": Lucas Harrell, Astros June "winner": Jon Lester, Red Sox July "winner": Jerome Williams, Angels NL Pitcher of the Month Jose Fernandez, Marlins. This kid is filthy. Fernandez threw 39 innings in six starts for Miami, striking out 49 and walking 11 while pitching to a 1.15 ERA over the month. Did I mention that he just turned 21 at the end of July? Talk about the only thing worth watching in Miami... Honorable mentions: Alex Wood, Braves; Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers; Cole Hamels, Phillies; Mat Latos, Reds; Matt Harvey, Mets April winner: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals May winner: Matt Harvey, Mets June winner: Matt Harvey, Mets July winner: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers NL Worst Pitcher of the Month Jake Westbrook, Cardinals. Yes, Westbrook is currently hurt. But in 21 August innings, he allowed 24 earned runs, walked 13, and struck out nine. That translates into a 10.29 ERA, a 3.86 strikeout rate, and a 5.57 walk rate. Strike one, strike two, strike three, Jake. Dishonorable mentions: Ethan Martin, Phillies; Jeff Locke, Pirates; Edwin Jackson, Cubs; Jeff Manship, Rockies; Mike Leake, Reds April "winner": Jonathan Sanchez, Pirates May "winner": Kyle Lohse, Brewers June "winner": Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks July "winner": Kyle Kendrick, Phillies AL Rookie of the Month Avisail Garcia, White Sox. The AL rookie crop sucks. For the month, Garcia hit .354/.386/.494 with two homers. So...I guess that'll do it. A .456 BABIP will take the cake every day. Honorable mentions: Robbie Grossman, Astros; Brad Miller, Mariners; Kole Calhoun, Angels; Sonny Gray, Athletics; Martin Perez, Rangers April winner: Brandon Barnes, Astros May winner: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox June winner: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox July winner: Wil Myers, Rays NL Rookie of the Month Jose Fernandez, Marlins. So which do you prefer: a pitcher or a hitter? While Scooter Gennett's performance was indeed very impressive, we're all expecting him to fall off a cliff in September. But Fernandez's performance is sustainable and completely awesome, and that's what has made him the favorite for the NL Rookie of the Year award. Honorable mentions: Scooter Gennett, Brewers; Alex Wood, Braves; Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers; Yasiel Puig, Dodgers; Julio Teheran, Braves April winner: Evan Gattis, Braves May winner: Evan Gattis, Braves June winner: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers July winner: Jose Fernandez, Marlins [follow]

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