Miami Marlins: Justin Bour deserved ‘Player of the Month’ award

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The month of May offered few positive story lines for the Miami Marlins. However, the dominant play of  was deserving of player of the month.

Count this one as the cherry on top of an ice cream Sunday of losses for the Miami Marlins. After dominating opposing pitchers all month, Justin Bour failed to secure player of the month. Despite posting better numbers in several key categories, the award went to Charlie Blackmon.

Blackmon had an excellent month of May as well. He would have been an excellent candidate had Justin Bour not outpaced him so convincingly.

Lets begin by looking at the individual performances of each player, starting with Charlie Blackmon.

Charlie Blackmon

Charlie Blackmon was a menace in his own right. He slashed .359/.387/.650, driving in 22 RBI’s and hitting six home runs. His OPS was 1.037, a number greatly influenced by the fact that he only managed to draw four walks the entire month.

Not only did Blackmon hit in the batters paradise of Coors Field, but he hit in a lineup that absolutely destroyed opposing pitching. It’s no stretch to say that Blackmon was seeing good pitches to hit. With opposing pitchers equally concerned with Mark Reynolds and Nolan Arenado, Blackmon was able to post impressive numbers.

Blackmon might have been a lock beyond anybody except Justin Bour. But given where he plays, and his lack of ability to work a walk, Blackmon shouldn’t have come away with it this month. It’s not a criticism on him, but rather the committee that selected him as the winner.

Blackmon: .359/.387.650. 6HR’s, 22RBI’s, 1.037 OPS, 4BB, 25K’s

Justin Bour

Bour posted the best month of his career in May. Hitting in a number of “pitchers parks”, including his home Marlins Park, Bour wasn’t slowed. He launched 11 HR’s and accounted for 21 RBI’s last month. His slash numbers look like something out of a video game: .344/.427/.729.

He also showed impressive patience at the plate, drawing 13 walks over the course of the month. As the Miami Marlins struggled mightily through the month of May, pitchers often avoided the red hot Bour. Why give him pitches to hit when virtually every other batter is mired in a slump?

Bour’s 1.156 OPS should have been enough to convince those making this decision. Not only did he hit for better power, he reached base at a higher clip. Getting on base creates runs, the most valuable asset in baseball. Justin Bour was exceedingly better at getting on base and creating runs.

Bour: .344/.427/.729, 11HR’s, 21RBI’s, 1.156 OPS, 13BB’s, 25K’s


The only reasonable explanation to give the award to Blackmon is that he plays on a team that has become the darling of baseball. The Colorado Rockies have been the surprise of baseball to this point. At 34-22, many are starting to believe the Rockies are for real.

The Miami Marlins went 10-18 in May, the Rockies went 17-11. Aside from that disparity, there is nothing statistically significant to give Charlie Blackmon the award of player of the month over Justin Bour.

It might be enough to convince people that playing on a better team makes you a better player. But that isn’t what this award is for, is it. This is supposed to award the most outstanding player in the given month. That was Justin Bour, there isn’t an argument to be made to the contrary.

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With the way he is swinging the bat, many hope Bour competes for the award again in June. Hopefully the correct winner is chosen next time around.