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

By Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB Analyst

June is coming to an end, and that means it’s time for my team of the month!

Let’s take a look at the whole month and identify the best player at each position in June.

For starters, in June, Shohei Ohtani hosted one of the most impressive months in Major League Baseball history.

On the offensive end, he hit .298 with six homers, and he set a career high with eight RBIs in a game, making him the first Japanese-born player to record eight RBIs in a game.

Shohei Ohtani and Justin Verlander headline updated MLB season awards

Shohei Ohtani and Justin Verlander headline updated MLB season awards

Ben Verlander breaks down his NL and AL Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP awards midway through the season, along with Shohei Ohtani, Justin Verlander, Paul Goldschmidt and others.

Look “Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander” on Youtube, or subscribe on podcast platforms including Apple podcast.

The next day, Ohtani started on the mound for the Angels and set a career high striking out 13 batters.

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

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

Ohtani is already a legend, and in my mind he was baseball’s best player of the month for June.

Here is the rest of the team of the month:

VS Alexander 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’s starting catcher in the All-Star Game.

1B Josh Bell, Washington nationals

Bell narrowly edged out Paul Goldschmidt this month. They were both absolutely fantastic, but Bell was just a bit better. He hit .358 during the month with seven home runs and hit 18 runs.

Shohei Ohtani and Yordan Álvarez headline June Team of the Month

Shohei Ohtani and Yordan Álvarez headline June Team of the Month

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

2B Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres

Cronenworth hit 24 points in the month of June. It is the second highest in the National League. And it hit .315 the month to boot.

3B Brandon Dry, Cincinnati Reds

Drury hit .333 this month and hit eight home runs for the Reds. At a position full of superstars vying for an MVP award, Drury was the best of the bunch in June.

SS Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves

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

New York Mets and Atlanta Braves: Battle for eastern Newfoundland heats up

New York Mets and Atlanta Braves: Battle for eastern Newfoundland heats up

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

OF Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros

No one racked up better offensive numbers in June than Alvarez, who hit .418 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs. It was an incredible month that earned him AL Player of the Month.

OF Michael Harris IIAtlanta Braves

Harris has been outstanding since being called up 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 breaks down his top five rookies in this month’s class lead, with the Braves’ Michael Harris II topping the list.

OF Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies

Schwarber won NL Player of the Month with 12 home runs and 27 RBIs. When the calendar jumps to June, Kyle Schwarber transforms into Babe Ruth.

PS Dylan Quit, Chicago White Sox

What a remarkable month Cease has had. He ended up with a .33 ERA and struck out 45 in 27.1 innings in five starts.

PR Emmanuel Class, Cleveland Guardians

Clase was perfect for Guardians in June. In 15 appearances, he had 11 saves and 16 strikeouts and allowed no runs. This is an ERA of 0.00. Perfect.

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


Get more from Major League Baseball Follow your favorites for game insights, news and more.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.