Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has been voted the Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month for April. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor of 23 of 30 clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the National League Player of the Month Award.
Davis batted .348 (32-for-92) with eight doubles, nine home runs, 28 RBI, 19 runs scored and 16 walks in 27 games to claim his first career Player of the Month award and the first for the Orioles since Melvin Mora took home A.L. Player of the Month honors in August 2008. Davis also won A.L. Rookie of the Month while with the Texas Rangers in July 2008. Among league leaders in April with a minimum of 81 plate appearances, the 27-year-old finished first in slugging percentage (.728) and total bases (67), tied for first in homers and RBI, second in extra-base hits (17), fourth in batting average, fifth in on-base percentage (.442), sixth in walks and tied for seventh in runs.
The Texas native came out swinging to begin the season, hitting safely in his first five games with three multi-hit performances over the stretch. On April 3rd, Davis notched a career-high-tying four hits, including a pair of doubles, a homer and four RBI in an 8-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. In Baltimore's home opener against the Minnesota Twins two days later, Chris launched an eighth-inning grand slam to break a 5-5 tie as the Orioles closed out a 9-5 victory at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Through Baltimore's first four games of the season, Davis batted a combined 9-for-15 (.600) with three doubles, four homers and a Major League-record 16 RBI, eclipsing the old RBI
mark of 12 (set three times). In addition, the left-handed-hitting slugger became just the fourth player in history to launch homers in a season's first four games, joining Willie Mays (1971), Mark McGwire (1998) and Nelson Cruz (2011). Davis' offensive exploits earned him A.L. Player of the Week honors for April 1st-7th, his second career weekly award after splitting the award with Detroit Tigers hurler Justin Verlander in the final week of the 2012 season. Additionally, he became the first Oriole to garner consecutive weekly nods since Eddie Murray in 1981. In the first game of a doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 20th, the fifth round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft (by Texas) went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored to lead the Orioles to a 7-5 triumph in Baltimore. The next night, the sixth-year veteran tallied three more hits, including a double, as the O's dropped the game to the visiting Dodgers, 7-4. In his last 13 games in April, Davis batted .356 (16-for-45) with four doubles, three homers and nine RBI.
Others receiving votes included the reigning A.L. MVP Miguel Cabrera (.363, 6 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 21 R, 13 BB) of the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians backstop Carlos Santana (.389, 9 2B, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 14 R, .722 SLG, .476 OBP).
The Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month, Chris Davis, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.