MLB Team of the Month: Shohei Ohtani rules baseball in June

Through Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB analyst

The month of June is drawing to a close and that means it’s time for my Team of the Month!

Let’s look back at the entire month and identify the best player in each position in June.

Starting off, Shohei Ohtani put together one of the most impressive months in Major League Baseball history in June.

On the offensive side, he hit .298 with six home runs and set a career best with eight RBIs in a game, making him the first Japanese-born player to hit eight RBIs in a game.

Shohei Ohtani & Justin Verlander headline the updated MLB season awards

Shohei Ohtani & Justin Verlander headline the updated MLB season awards

Ben Verlander shares his NL and AL Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP mid-season honors with Shohei Ohtani, Justin Verlander, Paul Goldschmidt and more.

Watch “Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander” on youtube, or subscribe to podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts.

The next day, Ohtani started on the mound for the Angels and put up a career-high 13 hitters.

No other player in history has both an eight RBI game and a 13 strikeout game to his name. And Ohtani did that on consecutive nights.

Ohtani was one of baseball’s best pitchers in June. He went 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA and finished the month with the longest scoreless innings streak of his career, now at 21.2 innings.

Ohtani is already a legend and in my opinion he was the best player in baseball in June.

Here’s the rest of Team of the Month:

C Alejandro Kirk, Toronto Blue Jays

Kirk has been an unsung hero for the Blue Jays this season. He hit .341 with seven homers in June. Kirk deserves to be the American League starting catcher in the All-Star Game.

1B Josh Bell, Washington Nationals

Bell narrowly beat Paul Goldschmidt this month. They were both absolutely amazing, but Bell was just a little bit better. He hit .358 in the month with seven homers and tapped in 18 carries.

Shohei Ohtani and Yordan Álvarez headline June’s Team of the Month

Shohei Ohtani and Yordan Álvarez headline June's Team of the Month

Ben Verlander dives into his Team of the Month led by the Astros’ Yordan Alvarez, the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and the Braves’ Dansby Swanson.

2 B Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres

Cronenworth competed in 24 heats in June. That’s the second highest in the National League. And he reached 0.315 in the month to boot.

3B Brandon Drury, Cincinnati Red

Drury hit .333 this month and drilled eight homers for the Reds. In a position full of superstars vying for an MVP award, Drury topped the pack in June.

ss Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves

There hasn’t been a better baseball shortstop in recent months than Swanson. In June, he hit .330 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs. Swanson deserves to start in the All-Star Game as shortstop for the National League.

New York Mets & Atlanta Braves: The fight for the NL East is heating up

New York Mets & Atlanta Braves: The fight for the NL East is heating up

In NL East, the Braves are back in business with key performances from Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna Jr. and others, while the Mets await the returns of Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom.

FROM Jordan Alvarez, Houston Astros

No one posted better offensive stats in June than Alvarez, who hit .418 with nine homers and 28 RBIs. It’s been an incredible month that resulted in him being named AL Player of the Month.

FROM Michael Harris IIAtlanta Braves

Harris has been notable since his draft and was named NL Rookie of the Month. He hit .347 with four HRs and 16 RBIs in June.

Michael Harris II leads the rookie class for the month

Michael Harris II leads the rookie class for the month

Ben Verlander profiles his top five rookies in this month’s Head of the Class, with the Braves’ Michael Harris II topping the list.

FROM Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies

Schwarber was named NL Player of the Month thanks to his 12 home runs and 27 RBIs. When the calendar changes to June, Kyle Schwarber transforms into Babe Ruth.

SP Dylan stops, Chicago White Sox

What a remarkable month Cease had. He finished with a .33 ERA and hit 45 batters in 27.1 innings in five starts.

RP Emmanuel Clase, Cleveland Guardian

Clase was perfect for the Guardians in June. In 15 games, he had 11 saves and 16 strikeouts and never gave up a run. That’s a 0.00 ERA. Perfect.

Ben Verlander is an MLB analyst at FOX Sports and host of the “Flip pin batspodcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before joining his brother Justin in Detroit in 2013 as a 14th-round pick for the Tigers. He spent five years with the Tigers Follow him on Twitter @BenVerlander.


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