Fantasy Baseball Dugout’s Player of the Month awards are given to the top statistical hitter and pitcher in fantasy baseball during a calendar month when Major League Baseball is in competition.
A standard 5×5 league is used for scoring (runs scored, homeruns, RBI, steals, batting average for hitters; wins, saves, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP for pitchers).
The inaugural winners of FBD’s April Players of the Month are:
Hitter of the Month: Hanley Ramirez, Shortstop, Florida Marlins. HamRam obviously reads Fantasy Baseball Dugout and took it personally that we named him the most overrated player in fantasy baseball to start the season. At his current pace, Ramirez will not only shut us up, he will go into the 2009 season as the no. 1 player in fantasy baseball.
HamRam literally stole the Hitter of the Month Award from Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies and Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros. Utley and Berkman produced better power numbers, but Ramirez’s nine stolen bases were three more than his competitors combined. With 36 hits on the month, Ramirez scored 22 runs, hit 8 homeruns, drove in 18 RBI and batted .333. Berkman scored and drove in more runs, and Utley batted .352 and hit more homeruns.
Ramirez is proof of the notion that steals are given too much importance in fantasy baseball, but it is his ability to combine power numbers and speed that make him such a strong fantasy baseball player.
Pitcher of the Month: Cliff Lee, Starting Pitcher, Cleveland Indians. Lee’s performance in April was absolutely filthy. Considering he was demoted to AAA last season and had no guarantee of making the Indians rotation during Spring Training, Lee’s April dominance has come as a surprise to everyone. He made five starts in April and went a perfect 5-0, highlighted by 17 scoreless innings between two starts on April 18 at Minnesota and April 24 at Kansas City. In KC, Lee pitched a complete game shutout, striking out nine and giving up only three hits.
In 37.2 innings of work during April, Lee gave up four earned runs, 21 baserunners, and struck out 32. His 0.96 ERA for the month was the lowest of any pitcher who threw more than 17 innings and his 0.56 WHIP was lowest among all starting pitchers.