Unless you were under a rock during the month of May, you probably already know that Jason Kipnis had a tremendous month. His batting line: .429/.511/.706, giving him an OPS of 1.217 and a wRC+ of 241. All of those figures led the American League, as did his 143 plate appearances. I wonder, how often does the guy with the most PA also leads the league in all of the major rate stats??? Kipnis getting overlooked in the All-Star voting is one thing, but if there's an justice in the baseball world, Kipnis will be named AL Player of the Month, an honor voted on by people who ought to be less biased by their love of Omar Infante.
A few of Kipnis' numbers from the month:
Kipnis had 51 hits for the month. That's the 17th highest total in franchise history since at least 1914. Roberto Alomar, who had 53 hits in September of 2000, is the only other player who's had 51+ in a month for the team since 1948. (The franchise record is 67, by Tris Speaker in July of 1923.) The last MLB player to top Kipnis was Chone Figgins, who had 53 hits in June of 2007.
Kipnis had 15 doubles for the month. That's tied for the 5th-most in franchise history since at least 1914. The last Indians hitter with at least that many was Jeff Heath in September of 1942. (The team record is 18, by Tris Speaker in July of 1923.) The last MLB player to top Kipnis was Joey Votto, who hit 16 doubles in September of 2009.
Kipnis had 22 extra-base hits for the month. That's tied for 8th in franchise history since at least 1914. The only Tribe batter to top that total since 1936 was Albert Belle, who did it in August AND September of 1995, and who holds the franchise record with 27 extra-base hits that August. The last MLB player to top Kipnis was Albert Pujols, who had 24 extra-base hits in June of 2009.
Kipnis reached base safely (by hit, walk, or HBP) 72 times for the month. That's the 8th-highest Indians total since at least 1914, and the most by a Tribe batter since 1934. (The team record is 81, by Tris Speaker in July of 1923.) The last MLB player to top Kipnis was Ryan Howard, who reached base safely 74 times in September of 2006.
FanGraphs does monthly WAR splits, and has Kipnis at 3.1 for May. No other player this decade has had a month that reached 3 or higher. It is almost a certainty that Kipnis will never have another month this good again. If he were even half this good every month though, he'd be a strong candidate for the MVP.
I'd call it the best May in franchise history.
May is over, but hopefully Kipnis doesn't notice.