Nelson Cruz — 10 home runs, three doubles and a .724 slugging percentage — has been named American League Player of the Month for April, the first Seattle position player so honored since Ichiro in August 2004. This is the first Player of the Month award for Cruz, who joined the Mariners in December on a four-year, $57 million deal.
Cruz also batted .322, with a triple, 22 RBIs, 14 extra-base hits and finished second in the league in OPS (1.096) in 22 games.
Cruz’s 10 home runs rank as the third-most in April club history, trailing Ken Griffey Jr., who hit 13 in 1997 and 11 in 1998. Cruz had a home run in five consecutive games (six total), which tied him with Jay Buhner, Richie Zisk and Alex Rodriguez behind Griffey. eight for second-most in team history.
All 10 of Cruz’s home runs in April came in his final 18 games, including two multi-homer games. He drove in a run in 12 of those 18 and hit safely in 16 of 22 games overall.
Cruz was previously named American League Player of the Week (April 13-19), when he led the majors with six home runs, 10 RBIs, a 1.250 slugging percentage, a 1.806 OPS and 30 total bases.
As the Mariners prepare for the start of a three-game series in Anaheim Monday night, Cruz is hitting .343 (34×99) with 17 runs, 13 home runs, 25 RBIs, a .387 on-base percentage, a .788 slugging percentage and a 1.175 OPS in 25 games.