Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Upton named Player of Month
Posted Jul 3, 2009 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Jul 3, 2009 at 12:29 PM
B.J. Upton is the latest Ray to earn an MLB monthly honor, being named the AL Player of the Month for June.
Here’s the release:
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder B.J. Upton has been named the Sharp Presents the American League Player of the Month for June. This marks B.J.’s first career monthly award honor.
In 26 games last month, Upton batted .324 (34-105) with five home runs, 20 runs scored, 22 RBI and an A.L.-best ten doubles. The 24-year-old leadoff hitter also posted a .562 slugging percentage, a .395 on- base percentage and led the Majors with 14 stolen bases in the month of June. Entering play today, Upton ranks third in the Majors with 29 stolen bases behind teammate Carl Crawford (40) and Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury (33). In a three-game Interleague series vs. the Washington Nationals from June 12 th -14 th , B.J. compiled two stolen bases in three straight games, marking the first time in his career he had three consecutive multi-SB games. Last month, B.J. also compiled six multi-RBI games, the first six of his 2009 season, and 10 multi-hit games, which extends his season total to 18. On June 21 st , the Norfolk, Virginia native tied career-highs with four hits and four RBI, finishing a triple shy of the cycle, en route to 10-6 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field. Upton, the second overall pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, reached base successfully in 24 of his 26 games played in the month of June.
The runners-up were Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Juan Rivera, who batted .290 (29-100) and led the A.L. with eight home runs and 24 RBI, and Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind, who posted a .650 slugging percentage and a .434 on-base percentage. Also receiving votes was Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who hit a Major League-best .407 (44-108) with six doubles, two triples, eight stolen bases and 19 runs scored.