Kyle Schwarber turned the baseball world on its head with his spectacular run during the month of June, and has now been recognized for his accomplishments. He has been named the National League Player of the Month.
Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels won the corresponding award in the American League. Schwarber and Ohtani combined for 29 total home runs during the month of June. Schwarber signed a one-year deal with Washington as a free agent back in January, which is now looking like a godsend in the nation's capital.
Schwarber’s month was historically great, as the Washington Nationals’ leadoff man was unconscious in the batter’s box. He hit 16 home runs, knocked in 30 RBI and totaled a .760 slugging percentage during the month which saw his Nats skyrocket from dead last in the NL East to second place. Per MLB Stats, Schwarber’s 16 homers were the most in a calendar month by a leadoff hitter in the common era. Washington has gone 14-4 over the last 18 games in part thanks to Schwarber’s heroics.
Schwarber is the first National to win the award since Ryan Zimmerman was named NL Player of the Month for his April in 2017. That month, ‘Mr. National’ scored 22 runs and knocked 37 hits including 11 home runs while batting .420.
For a solid three-week period, Schwarber’s lead-off at-bats for Washington were must-see television. Seven of his 16 homers in June were in the leadoff spot. He eventually got so hot that he led all MLB hitters in leadoff homers despite only taking that position in the rotation on the eighth of the month. The entire Arizona Diamondbacks team hit just one more homer (17) during the month than Schwarber did alone. Washington as a team hit 40 dingers over the course of June, tied for sixth-best in the majors.
The Nationals are in the midst of a four-game home series against the L.A. Dodgers. They’ll take on two more California teams, the Padres and Giants, on the road next week before the All-Star break.