A day late, but here are the winners of Walk-Off Walk’s June awards, the most prestigious and yet never talked about awards in the entire world.
Rookie of the Month
Tommy La Stella
It was a big month for the rookies, but La Stella takes the prize. He walked more than he struck out, on-based .351, and toward the end of the month, he showed pretty good pop to push his wRC+ over 100. While he has been buried low in the order again, La Stella seems likely to get another opportunity to bat in front of the thunder again eventually and when that comes, hopefully he will avoid the tumble he had when he briefly led off.
Least Valuable Position Player of the Month
Choices were tough here. Both of the Upton brothers had their moments in June, but outside of his defense, Simmons was non-existent throughout the month. He finished with a .214/.277/.262 slash and a 49 wRC+. Granted, his production at shortstop remains unchallenged, but Simmons continues to disappoint with the stick and has yet to produce at the level many of us think he is capable of.
Worst Pitcher of the Month
Harang as a fifth starter is not the worst thing in the world. However, even fifth starters are expected to post a better FIP than 5.36 over 36.2 ING. He walked an astounding 20 batters, nine more than the next worst mark by a Braves pitcher. As such, he was below all Braves pitchers with at least 15 innings of work in the difference between in K% and BB%. For Harang, the mark was an amazingly low 0.6%.
Dishonorable Mention – David Hale (5.48 FIP, as many K’s as walks in 14.2 ING).
Best Position Player of the Month
Though back issues would ultimately end his month, Gattis was a monster during June, posting a .353/.402/.635 slash with six homers in just 92 PA. His .282 ISO, .444 wOBA, and 190 RC+ were benchmarks ahead of a Braves team that didn’t hit for much power in June. He added six doubles during the month, giving him 12 EBH to tie for the team-lead.
Best Pitcher of the Month
There was not even a competition for this award. While Teheran’s ERA was inflated by a fluke game at Coors Field, his 2.08 FIP was only bested by a reliever, Simmons. He struck out 9.4 K/9, second by starters on the team, and walked an astounding 0.76 BB/9. To put that in black-and-white terms, Teheran walked just three batters in 35.1 ING. Because that’s not showy enough, Teheran walked just three of the 139 batters he faced in June. Only two hit a homerun off him. He struck out more batters than he gave up hits. Not to put a too fine a point on it, but do you know what full-time starter for the month of June walked fewer batters than Teheran in all of baseball? The answer may surprise you. Nobody. No one was able to walk less than four, save Teheran. Harang walked six in one start. Yeah, sure, Teheran’s no Clayton Kershaw, but he’s the thing people still think the Braves lack. Teheran is a textbook ace.