During the month of May, few players in baseball put up better numbers than Nolan Arenado. In fact, he led the National League in five major statistical categories:
Average = .425
OBP = .479
OPS = 1.262
wOBA = .510
WAR = 2.1
In the process, Arenado also helped power the Rockies to a 16-10 record in May, helping the franchise dig out of an early season hole and get back into the NL wild card race. Apparently, the numbers and the wins weren’t enough to impress the baseball writers who cover the game on a daily basis.
On Monday, it was announced that the Rockies third baseman was beat out for National League Player of the Month honors by Josh Bell. As the Pirates tweet about the award points out, the first baseman certainly had an impressive month.
May's NL Player of the Month.
📎 @JBell_19 hit .390 and led all Major League players in total bases (94), hits (46), extra-base hits (24) and RBI (31) during the month of May…He also shared the lead with 12 HRs.#BELLieve https://t.co/IOlzWVglnW pic.twitter.com/Mpzt7MY4Gs
— Pirates (@Pirates) June 3, 2019
Obviously, Bell was deserving of the honor. But more so than Arenado?
In each of those categories, here’s how each fared (Bell | Arenado):
Average = .390 | .425
Total Bases = 94 | 83
Hits = 46 | 45
Extra-Base Hits = 24 | 19
RBI = 31 | 29
Both players put up big numbers, so there’s a case to be made for each. But while the Rockies were going 16-10, the Pirates posted an incredibly mediocre 15-14 record, including 1-2 against Colorado during a three-game set at PNC Park.
Winning doesn’t always matter, however, as everyone was reminded during those match-ups in Pittsburgh. In game two of the series, the storyline wasn’t the Rockies rolling to a 9-3 victory; instead, it was all about Bell hitting a blast off of Jon Gray.
Josh Bell is the first player ever to hit TWO homers out of PNC Park and into the Allegheny River on the fly! pic.twitter.com/UWbb99NZqo
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 22, 2019
That same night, Arenado went 2-for-4, plus drew a walk and scored a run. And his team won the game. But the big news was the big fly.
And that’s why Josh Bell is the National League Player of the Month in May instead of Nolan Arenado. He hit the news-worthy home runs.
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