Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 7/2/13

We're halfway through the season, and while seasons come and go, the dominant players remain... AL Hitter of the Month Jason Kipnis, Indians. The award stays in the AL Central with their first place team, but Jason Kipnis gets the nod this month as opposed to the still hot Miguel Cabrera. All Kipnis did in June was hit .419/.517/.699 with 12 doubles, four homers, nine stolen bases, 20 walks, and 22 strikeouts. He also drove in 25 runs, the second-most in the AL to Chris Davis of the Orioles. When you see those names and look at what they did this month, and realize that Kipnis performed better across the board, it's pretty stunning. Honorable mentions: Cabrera, Tigers; Davis, Orioles; Jose Iglesias, Red Sox; Adam Lind, Blue Jays; Mike Trout, Angels April winner: Chris Davis, Orioles May winner: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers AL Worst Hitter of the Month Vernon Wells, Yankees. Oh, Vernon. Wells started the year off well, but his stats have steadily fell into the tank since. In June, the veteran hit .133/.143/.147 for New York with one walk, 17 strikeouts, and just one extra base hit (a double). So much for that renaissance, I guess. Dishonorable mentions: Emilio Bonfiacio, Blue Jays; Kelly Johnson, Rays; Pedro Florimon, Twins; Brendan Ryan, Mariners; Elvis Andrus, Rangers April "winner": Josh Hamilton, Angels May "winner": Alcides Escobar, Royals NL Hitter of the Month Yasiel Puig, Dodgers. People can complain all they want about Puigmania, but the man had an incredible June, hitting .436/.467/.713 with seven homers, four steals, and 19 runs scored. Yeah, he has a .500 BABIP and just four walks, but you can't deny the fact that he beat the hell out of the ball. Honorable mentions: Rickie Weeks, Brewers; Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers; Buster Posey, Giants; Pedro Alvarez, Pirates April winner: Justin Upton, Braves May winner: Joey Votto, Reds NL Worst Hitter of the Month Starlin Castro, Cubs. While there were some players in the NL that had worse Junes than Castro, they weren't exactly every day players that logged over 100 plate appearances like Chicago's shortstop. Castro stepped to the plate 113 times in June and hit .167/.204/.250, walking just three times and striking out 24 times. Castro did manage to collect six doubles, which is what prevented him from an OPS under .450 for the month. Dishonorable mentions: Yuniesky Betancourt, Brewers; Nick Punto, Dodgers; Travis Snider, Pirates; Pete Kozma, Cardinals; Adeiny Hechevarria, Marlins April "winner": Adam LaRoche, Nationals May "winner": Ike Davis, Mets AL Pitcher of the Month Chris Sale, White Sox. Sale went 0-5 in June. But you should know better to look at wins and losses. In his six starts, Sale threw 42 1/3 innings, struck out 53, and walked just nine. His 3.19 ERA was nothing eye-opening, but his FIP was 2.32, nearly a full run lower. As the weather has heated up, so has Sale...it's just a shame that the White Sox stink. Honorable mentions: Ervin Santana, Royals; Bartolo Colon, Athletics; Max Scherzer, Tigers; Bud Norris, Astros; Yu Darvish, Rangers April winner: Yu Darvish, Rangers May winner: Derek Holland, Rangers AL Worst Pitcher of the Month Jon Lester, Red Sox. Lester is one of the most infuriating pitchers in baseball. He made five starts in June, totaled 28 1/3 innings, struck out 23, walked 16, and allowed eight homers en route to a 7.62 ERA for the month. That's...not good. Yet, the Red Sox remain in first place in the AL East. Imagine that. Dishonorable mentions: Dylan Axelrod, White Sox; Jeremy Guthrie, Royals; PJ Walters, Twins; Justin Grimm, Rangers; Matt Moore, Rays April "winner": Brett Myers, Indians May "winner": Lucas Harrell, Astros NL Pitcher of the Month Matt Harvey, Mets. Six starts. 39 innings. 48 strikeouts. Seven walks. 2.31 ERA. There's finally some hope in Flushing. Honorable mentions: Cliff Lee, Phillies; Adam Wainwright, Cardinals; Mat Latos, Reds; Julio Teheran, Braves; Gio Gonzalez, Nationals April winner: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals May winner: Matt Harvey, Mets NL Worst Pitcher of the Month Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks. Here's a bit of irony for you. Two winters ago, the Diamondbacks acquired Cahill from the Athletics to shore up their pitching staff. A year and a half after that trade, Arizona is once again looking for starting pitching, due in part to Cahill's 9.85 ERA in 24 2/3 June innings. This is...how do you say..."not good". Dishonorable mentions: Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks; Tom Koehler, Marlins; Jason Marquis, Padres; Jake Westbrook, Cardinals; Barry Zito, Giants April "winner": Jonathan Sanchez, Pirates May "winner": Kyle Lohse, Brewers AL Rookie of the Month Jose Iglesias, Red Sox. The knock on Iglesias in the minors was that he simply couldn't hit enough to play every day. Well, here we are, and Iglesias is hitting the cover off of the ball for the second straight month. In June, the Boston third baseman hit .395/.453/.523 in a full month of playing time, and while his .465 BABIP indicates that he's going to cool off sooner rather than later, the Red Sox are just going with the flow right now with Iglesias. Honorable mentions: Oswaldo Arcia, Twins; David Lough, Royals; Wil Myers, Rays; Nick Franklin, Mariners; Alex Torres, Rays April winner: Brandon Barnes, Astros May winner: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox NL Rookie of the Month Yasiel Puig, Dodgers. A strained oblique slowed the Evan Gattis express, allowing Puig to take the honor here. But even if Gattis were healthy in June, Puig was a runaway freight train this month, and I don't think anything Gattis did could tear the award away from him. Honorable mentions: Julio Teheran, Braves; Jose Fernandez, Marlins; Anthony Rendon, Nationals; Nolan Arenado, Rockies; Shelby Miller, Cardinals [follow]

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

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