Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Well folks, this is the end. Aside from one critical game between the Rays and Rangers, the MLB regular season is done. And with that, it's time for the final edition of the best and worst, this time looking at September. The pennant race, September call-ups, and guys just playing out the string generally makes for some ridiculous stats, and this month was no exception. AL Hitter of the Month Mike Napoli, Red Sox. Holy crap, Mike Napoli. He only played 20 games and got 79 plate appearances in September, but Napoli made the most of it, hitting .333/.494/.733 with six homers, 14 runs, 16 RBI, and somehow, 19 walks. The Red Sox coasted to the AL East title this month, and Napoli was a big part of that success. Honorable mentions: Josh Donaldson, Athletics; Mike Trout, Angels; Prince Fielder, Tigers; David Ortiz, Red Sox; Sal Perez, Royals April winner: Chris Davis, Orioles May winner: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers June winner: Jason Kipnis, Indians July winner: Kyle Seager, Mariners August winner: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers AL Worst Hitter of the Month JP Arencibia, Blue Jays. Arencibia's 2013 has been a disaster, but he saved his worst for last. In September, Toronto's backstop hit .079/.106/.143 with one home run, two walks, and 20 strikeouts. Homers are Arencibia's thing, and when he's not smashing the ball over the fence, his skillset makes him a worthless player. Thus, you get a month like this. Dishonorable mentions: Vernon Wells, Yankees; Matt Joyce, Rays; Lorenzo Cain, Royals; Josh Phegley, White Sox; Darin Mastroianni, Twins April "winner": Josh Hamilton, Angels May "winner": Alcides Escobar, Royals June "winner": Vernon Wells, Yankees July "winner": Alcides Escobar, Royals August "winner": Nick Franklin, Mariners NL Hitter of the Month Hunter Pence, Giants. I wonder how much Pence's excellent September played into his contract extension. Pence smashed 11 homers in the season's final month to go along with a .293/.393/.667 line and 32 RBI. I'm not a big RBI, but 32 in a month? That's ridiculous. Honorable mentions: Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers; Matt Holliday, Cardinals; Freddie Freeman, Braves; Shin-Soo Choo, Reds; Andrew McCutchen, Pirates April winner: Justin Upton, Braves May winner: Joey Votto, Reds June winner: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers July winner: Jayson Werth, Nationals August winner: Scooter Gennett, Brewers NL Worst Hitter of the Month Alexi Amarista, Padres. I know he's a bench player, but .116/.187/.130 in 75 plate appearances is absolutely not acceptable. ONE extra base hit? C'mon man. Dishonorable mentions: BJ Upton, Braves; Ryan Hanigan, Reds; Darwin Barney, Cubs; Juan Lagares, Mets; Kyle Blanks, Padres April "winner": Adam LaRoche, Nationals May "winner": Ike Davis, Mets June "winner"; Starlin Castro, Cubs July "winner": Jedd Gyorko, Padres August "winner": Pete Kozma, Cardinals AL Pitcher of the Month Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians. Do you want to know why the Indians are playing in October? Jimenez is a big part of the Tribe's resurgence. In September, Jimenez went 4-0 in six starts spanning 41 1/3 innings, striking out 51 and walking seven with a 1.09 ERA. Cleveland won all six of his starts this month as well. Honorable mentions: Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners; Bartolo Colon, Athletics; Anibal Sanchez, Tigers; Dan Straily, Athletics; Justin Verlander, Tigers April winner: Yu Darvish, Rangers May winner: Derek Holland, Rangers June winner: Chris Sale, White Sox July winner: Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees August winner: Yu Darvish, Rangers AL Worst Pitcher of the Month Joe Saunders, Mariners. Saunders wasn't *as* bad as he was last month, posting a 7.97 ERA in 20 1/3 innings. But it's OK Joe: 20 strikeouts and five walks is a lot better than the ten and 16 you put together last month. Dishonorable mentions: Scott Diamond, Twins; David Huff, Yankees: Jarrod Parker, Athletics; Lucas Harrell, Astros; Paul Clemens, Astros April "winner": Brett Myers, Indians May "winner": Lucas Harrell, Astros June "winner": Jon Lester, Red Sox July "winner": Jerome Williams, Angels August "winner": Joe Saunders, Mariners NL Pitcher of the Month Kris Medlen, Braves. Oh, look who's back: last year's dominant second half starter. Medlen is doing his thing once again for the Braves, going 4-0 over five September starts and 36 innings with an ERA of 1.00, striking out 33 and walking eight in the process. He also has nine straight quality starts, and will start game one of the NLDS against the Dodgers. Honorable mentions: Andrew Cashner, Padres; Marco Estrada, Brewers; Matt Cain, Giants; Gerrit Cole, Pirates; Michael Wacha, Cardinals April winner: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals May winner: Matt Harvey, Mets June winner: Matt Harvey, Mets July winner: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers August winner: Jose Fernandez, Marlins NL Worst Pitcher of the Month John Hellweg, Brewers. Milwaukee's rookie starter was not good in September by any stretch of the imagination. In 20 innings, Hellweg had a not awful 4.50 ERA. Yet, he somehow managed to strike out six and walk 13 in his four starts, defying all logic. Things really should have been worse for Hellweg than they were, but here we are. Dishonorable mentions: Bronson Arroyo, Reds; Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks; Juan Nicasio, Rockies; Randall Delgado, Diamondbacks; Ryan Vogelsong, Giants April "winner": Jonathan Sanchez, Pirates May "winner": Kyle Lohse, Brewers June "winner": Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks July "winner": Kyle Kendrick, Phillies August "winner": Jake Westbrook, Cardinals AL Rookie of the Month Josmil Pinto, Twins. Minnesota's rookie catcher put together a great September, hitting .342/.398/566 with four homers in his first month in the big leagues, playing for a miserable club. His future looks bright, as long as the Twins don't trade him for a closer. Honorable mentions: Wil Myers, Rays; Kole Calhoun, Angels; James Paxton, Mariners; Brett Oberholtzer, Astros; Dan Straily, Athletics April winner: Brandon Barnes, Astros May winner: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox June winner: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox July winner: Wil Myers, Rays August winner: Avisail Garcia, White Sox NL Rookie of the Month Matt Adams, Cardinals. Matt Adams sure can rake, but he had nowhere to play in St Louis...until Allen Craig got hurt, that is. Playing every day in September, Adams hit .315/.344/.609 with eight homers to help power the Cardinals to the NL Central title. Because if there's something the Cardinals need, it's yet another talented young player... Honorable mentions: Matt Davidson, Diamondbacks; Charlie Culberson, Rockies; Christian Yelich, Marlins; Gerrit Cole, Pirates; Michael Wacha, Cardinals April winner: Evan Gattis, Braves May winner: Evan Gattis, Braves June winner: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers July winner: Jose Fernandez, Marlins August winner: Jose Fernandez, Marlins [follow]
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