American League Players of the Month: May 2024

The Just Baseball staff determines the AL Players of the Month for May and hands out gold, silver, and bronze medals to the best performers.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium.
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - MAY 30: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 30, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Since the last time we spoke, a lot has shifted around in the game. Zero players from last month’s Player of the Month piece are featured as repeats, not necessarily because they weren’t good enough, but rather that their peers have really stepped up over the past 30 or so days.

In some cases, though, performances dipped in a big way. Jose Altuve, last month’s gold medal hitter, had a 63 wRC+ and .268 OBP across 28 games in the month of May. Tyler O’Neill and Colton Cowser, last month’s honorable mentions, each had a wRC+ of 71 or below.

In the standings, the Yankees have swiped the top seed in the AL East from the Orioles, but most of the other spots remain the same. The AL Central is still a powerhouse, featuring three of the AL’s best teams, while the West has just one club above .500.

Here at Just Baseball, our editorial staff has once again selected AL pitchers and position players who stood out above the rest, this time through the month of May. Their outstanding performances may not be sustainable throughout the whole season, but credit is being given where it’s due.

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Let’s dive in.

AL Hitters of the Month

Gold Medal Hitter of the Month: Aaron Judge, NYY

May stats: 122 PA, 14 HR, 28 R, 27 RBI, .371/.488/.928, 1 SB, 3.0 fWAR

Simply put, Aaron Judge is not content with having just one MVP Award in his trophy case. The 32-year-old leads the majors in a ton of offensive categories including home runs, walks, SLG, OPS, OPS+ and total bases. The monstrous outfielder hit a whopping 14 home runs in the month of May and that surprisingly isn’t even the most he’s ever had in a single month. We’re looking at a legitimate frontrunner for AL MVP this year.

Silver Medal Hitter of the Month: Jose Ramirez, CLE

May stats: 126 PA, 11 HR, 23 R, 33 RBI, .295/.375/.686, 4 SB, 1.7 fWAR

Ramirez is off to a ridiculous start of his own this year, as he leads the league in RBI with 57 of them. The switch-hitter has never won an MVP Award but he’s been a top-five finisher four times and is likely well on his way to adding another. Ramirez, 31, is a huge part of why the Cleveland Guardians currently boast an impressive 39-20 record, which gives them the third-best win percentage in all of baseball.

Bronze Medal Hitter of the Month: Kyle Tucker, HOU

May stats: 121 PA, 11 HR, 19 R, 19 RBI, .216/.364/.598, 4 SB, 1.4 fWAR

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Tucker, a forever underrated stud in an Astros lineup full of them, is once again having an otherworldly season in Houston. The two-time All-Star has a 178 OPS+, putting his offensive production on the year a cool 78% above league-average. Tucker is right in the thick of things in most stats for the month of May, but his 19% walk rate stood out above the rest of the league. His name never jumps off the page when put alongside the likes of Altuve and Yordan Alvarez, but Tucker deserves some serious praise for being a consistently outstanding hitter.

Just Missed the Podium: Corey Seager, TEX

May stats: 111 PA, 11 HR, 15 R, 21 RBI, .287/.387/.660, 0 SB, 1.5 fWAR

Speaking of outstanding hitters, it was only a matter of time before Corey Seager began to turn things around. The 10-year veteran hit just .236 with a .631 OPS in the first month of the season but he’s since turned his fortunes around in a big way. In the month of May, Seager finished in a tie for second in the AL in home runs, third in SLG, sixth in OBP and seventh in RBI. He missed the podium this month by a hair.

AL Pitchers of the Month

Gold Medal Pitcher of the Month: Luis Gil, NYY

May stats: 6-0 (6 GS), 0.70 ERA, 38.2 IP, 44 K, 12 BB, 1.3 fWAR

Holy cow did Luis Gil put himself on the map with his performance in May, highlighted by a 14-strikeout performance against the White Sox. The right-hander finished second in the AL in ER – sandwiched between two names to still to come – sixth in FIP and K/9, and he topped the charts in LOB%. It wasn’t that long ago that Gil felt like the odd man out once Gerrit Cole returned from the injured list, but now he’s challenging Cole for the “ace” title more than he’s fighting for his position in the rotation.

Silver Medal Pitcher of the Month: Seth Lugo, KCR

May stats: 5-0 (6 GS), 1.79 ERA, 40.1 IP, 43 K, 9 BB, 1.0 fWAR

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Lugo missing out on the gold medal is by an even smaller margin than the one keeping Seager off of the podium on the hitters side. The nine-year veteran is in his second season in his return to the starting rotation and has been better than advertised, to put it lightly. He leads the league in wins, ERA, innings pitched and ERA+ and was fourth in the AL in ERA for the month of May. He’s been a rock-solid veteran presence on a surprisingly competitive Royals team and has shown zero signs of slowing down.

Bronze Medal Pitcher of the Month: Garrett Crochet, CHW

Bronze Medal Players of the Month (Crochet, LHP)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MAY 15: Starting pitcher Garrett Crochet #45 of the Chicago White Sox throws in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 15, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

May stats: 4-1 (5 GS), 0.93 ERA, 29.0 IP, 38 K, 5 BB, 1.2 fWAR

Speaking of relievers who took up starting, Crochet has been money for the cellar-dwelling White Sox this year. The flamethrowing southpaw has an MLB-leading 12.0 K/9 and has struck out eight or more batters in five different starts already. Crochet’s 0.93 May ERA is good for third in the AL in the month of May and his 1.92 FIP is just .01 behind fellow AL Central lefty Tarik Skubal.

Just Missed the Podium: Reese Olson, DET

May stats: 1-1 (5 GS), 0.64 ERA, 28.0 IP, 21 K, 8 BB, 0.6 fWAR

Sticking in the Central once again, Reese Olson deserves some love for the outstanding month of May he had. While not the sexiest name in the league, his Savant page has a ton of red and he actually had the league’s lowest ERA in May, albeit with 12 less innings than someone like Lugo. At 29-30 the Tigers are not really in the thick of things in their division, but Olson’s emergence has been a nice development.