Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 8/1/13

July marked a dramatic shift in the performances of several players that were having awesome seasons up until that point. Things might be just a little bit different in this one. AL Hitter of the Month Kyle Seager, Mariners. Flipping my coin gives Seager the nod by a nose over Mike Trout. While the Mariners should have sold some of their veteran players at the trade deadline, Seager is a guy that they should be building around. The third baseman hit .396/.464/.635 in July with six homers and as many strikeouts as walks. For the season, the 25-year old has already surpassed last year's 3.6 fWAR and is only three homers away from matching his 17 homers from a year ago. Seager is this year's Chase Headley, except he's three years younger and hasn't had a mediocre MLB career until this breakout. Honorable mentions: Mike Trout, Angels; Adrian Beltre, Rangers; Torii Hunter, Tigers; Miguel Cabrera, Tigers; Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays April winner: Chris Davis, Orioles May winner: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers June winner: Jason Kipnis, Indians AL Worst Hitter of the Month Alcides Escobar, Royals. I made the point two months ago that Escobar isn't really known for his bat, so his poor offensive performance can be rationalized. But in July, he hit .174/.188/.228. His wRC+ for the month was 5, which was nearly half of the nine RBI he had over the month. Yikes...just yikes. Dishonorable mentions: Seth Smith, Athletics; Mark Reynolds, Indians; Chris Stewart, Yankees; Travis Hafner, Yankees; Jeff Keppinger, White Sox April "winner": Josh Hamilton, Angels May "winner": Alcides Escobar, Royals June "winner": Vernon Wells, Yankees NL Hitter of the Month Jayson Werth, Nationals. Washington has plummeted to 11 games back of Atlanta in the NL East, but you can't blame Werth, who has bashed seven homers this month while hitting .367/.450/.622. Imagine where they'd be without him. I never thought I'd say that at the beginning of the year, but Werth's performance this month prevented the Nationals from being a *complete* disaster (as opposed to merely a disaster). Honorable mentions: Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers; Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers; Brian McCann, Braves; Andrew McCutchen, Pirates; Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins April winner: Justin Upton, Braves May winner: Joey Votto, Reds June winner: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers NL Worst Hitter of the Month Jedd Gyorko, Padres. This might not be totally fair, as Gyorko just returned to the Padres lineup the weekend before the All-Star Break after missing time with a groin strain. But in the 13 games Gyorko played in this month, he collected just five hits, didn't walk once, and didn't pick up an extra base hit either, leading to a cool .100./118/.100 line along with 16 strikeouts, one run scored, and one RBI. That's...not good. Dishonorable mentions: Justin Ruggiano, Marlins; Logan Forsythe, Padres; Darwin Barney, Cubs; Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks; Jason Kubel, Diamondbacks April "winner": Adam LaRoche, Nationals May "winner": Ike Davis, Mets June "winner"; Starlin Castro, Cubs AL Pitcher of the Month Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees. Kuroda's unbelievable season continues on with him allowing a total of two earned runs in July, both coming in one start against the Red Sox. While Kuroda didn't rack up an unreal amount of strikeouts like others did, his sheer dominance helped the Yankees keep their heads above water in the face of a horrendous offense. Honorable mentions: Jered Weaver, Angels; Felix Hernandez, Mariners; Matt Moore, Rays; Chris Archer, Rays; David Price, Rays April winner: Yu Darvish, Rangers May winner: Derek Holland, Rangers June winner: Chris Sale, White Sox AL Worst Pitcher of the Month Jerome Williams, Angels. Williams allowed 26 runs in 25 2/3 July innings. He walked more hitters than he struck out. These numbers would look *a lot* worse if Williams didn't allow one run in 7 2/3 in his last start of the month on Wednesday. Dishonorable mentions: Esmil Rogers, Blue Jays; CC Sabathia, Yankees; Jason Hammel, Orioles; AJ Griffin, Athletics; Kyle Gibson, Twins April "winner": Brett Myers, Indians May "winner": Lucas Harrell, Astros June "winner": Jon Lester, Red Sox NL Pitcher of the Month Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers. In July, Kershaw struck out 43 hitters. That's really good. He also walked...*two*. In 47 innings. Are you kidding me? Kershaw has made 18 straight starts of at least six innings pitched, and just two of those haven't been quality starts. Kershaw is having the best season of his unbelievable career, and he put a stamp on things in July. Honorable mentions: Mike Minor, Braves; Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks; Jose Fernandez, Marlins; Edwin Jackson, Cubs; Homer Bailey, Reds April winner: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals May winner: Matt Harvey, Mets June winner: Matt Harvey, Mets NL Worst Pitcher of the Month Kyle Kendrick, Phillies. HE'S BAAAAAAAAAACK! After looking like a legitimately different (and effective) pitcher to start the year, Kendrick got hammered in July, pitching to a 7.36 ERA with his usual basement-level strikeout rate (4.21, third lowest among NL starters over the month). Luckily (I guess) for the Phillies, Cole Hamels has picked his production up as of late. Dishonorable mentions: Yovani Gallardo, Brewers; Jeremy Hefner, Mets; Jeff Samardzija, Cubs; Carlos Villanueva, Cubs; Kris Medlen, Braves April "winner": Jonathan Sanchez, Pirates May "winner": Kyle Lohse, Brewers June "winner": Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks AL Rookie of the Month Wil Myers, Rays. Finally, Myers is doing what we expected. The 22-year old Myers turned it on in July, smashing four homers for the Rays while posting a .963 OPS, highest among all rookies in either league getting regular playing time. With Jose Iglesias falling back to Earth, it's not a stretch to think Myers will end up taking the AL Rookie of the Year award in a walk. Honorable mentions: Nick Franklin, Mariners; Conor Gillaspie, White Sox; Brad Miller, Mariners; Chris Archer, Rays, Jarred Cosart, Astros April winner: Brandon Barnes, Astros May winner: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox June winner: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox NL Rookie of the Month Jose Fernandez, Marlins. The NL Rookie of the Year race is going to be a dogfight. Fernandez impressed for the Marlins this month, striking out 40 hitters while walking ten in 35 innings and posting a 2.05 ERA. It seems like every time someone makes a splash in the NL's rookie class, they take a step back and allow the pack to get closer. Honorable mentions: Juan Lagares, Mets; Darin Ruf, Phillies; Junior Lake, Cubs; Yasiel Puig, Dodgers; Wily Peralta, Brewers April winner: Evan Gattis, Braves May winner: Evan Gattis, Braves June winner: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers [follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

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