The best and worst MLB players of September

Well folks, this is the end. Aside from one critical game between the Rays and Rangers, the MLB regular season is done. And with that, it's time for the final edition of the best and worst, this time looking at September. The pennant race, September call-ups, and guys just playing out the string generally makes for some ridiculous stats, and this month was no exception.

AL Hitter of the Month
Mike Napoli, Red Sox.
Holy crap, Mike Napoli. He only played 20 games and got 79 plate appearances in September, but Napoli made the most of it, hitting .333/.494/.733 with six homers, 14 runs, 16 RBI, and somehow, 19 walks. The Red Sox coasted to the AL East title this month, and Napoli was a big part of that success.

Honorable mentions: Josh Donaldson, Athletics; Mike Trout, Angels; Prince Fielder, Tigers; David Ortiz, Red Sox; Sal Perez, Royals

April winner: Chris Davis, Orioles
May winner: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
June winner: Jason Kipnis, Indians
July winner: Kyle Seager, Mariners
August winner: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

AL Worst Hitter of the Month
JP Arencibia, Blue Jays.
Arencibia's 2013 has been a disaster, but he saved his worst for last. In September, Toronto's backstop hit .079/.106/.143 with one home run, two walks, and 20 strikeouts. Homers are Arencibia's thing, and when he's not smashing the ball over the fence, his skillset makes him a worthless player. Thus, you get a month like this.

Dishonorable mentions: Vernon Wells, Yankees; Matt Joyce, Rays; Lorenzo Cain, Royals; Josh Phegley, White Sox; Darin Mastroianni, Twins

April "winner": Josh Hamilton, Angels
May "winner": Alcides Escobar, Royals
June "winner": Vernon Wells, Yankees
July "winner": Alcides Escobar, Royals
August "winner": Nick Franklin, Mariners

NL Hitter of the Month
Hunter Pence, Giants.
I wonder how much Pence's excellent September played into his contract extension. Pence smashed 11 homers in the season's final month to go along with a .293/.393/.667 line and 32 RBI. I'm not a big RBI, but 32 in a month? That's ridiculous.

Honorable mentions: Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers; Matt Holliday, Cardinals; Freddie Freeman, Braves; Shin-Soo Choo, Reds; Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

April winner: Justin Upton, Braves
May winner: Joey Votto, Reds
June winner: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
July winner: Jayson Werth, Nationals
August winner: Scooter Gennett, Brewers

NL Worst Hitter of the Month
Alexi Amarista, Padres.
I know he's a bench player, but .116/.187/.130 in 75 plate appearances is absolutely not acceptable. ONE extra base hit? C'mon man.

Dishonorable mentions: BJ Upton, Braves; Ryan Hanigan, Reds; Darwin Barney, Cubs; Juan Lagares, Mets; Kyle Blanks, Padres

April "winner": Adam LaRoche, Nationals
May "winner": Ike Davis, Mets
June "winner"; Starlin Castro, Cubs
July "winner": Jedd Gyorko, Padres
August "winner": Pete Kozma, Cardinals

AL Pitcher of the Month
Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians.
Do you want to know why the Indians are playing in October? Jimenez is a big part of the Tribe's resurgence. In September, Jimenez went 4-0 in six starts spanning 41 1/3 innings, striking out 51 and walking seven with a 1.09 ERA. Cleveland won all six of his starts this month as well.

Honorable mentions: Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners; Bartolo Colon, Athletics; Anibal Sanchez, Tigers; Dan Straily, Athletics; Justin Verlander, Tigers

April winner: Yu Darvish, Rangers
May winner: Derek Holland, Rangers
June winner: Chris Sale, White Sox
July winner: Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees
August winner: Yu Darvish, Rangers

AL Worst Pitcher of the Month
Joe Saunders, Mariners.
Saunders wasn't *as* bad as he was last month, posting a 7.97 ERA in 20 1/3 innings. But it's OK Joe: 20 strikeouts and five walks is a lot better than the ten and 16 you put together last month.

Dishonorable mentions: Scott Diamond, Twins; David Huff, Yankees: Jarrod Parker, Athletics; Lucas Harrell, Astros; Paul Clemens, Astros

April "winner": Brett Myers, Indians
May "winner": Lucas Harrell, Astros
June "winner": Jon Lester, Red Sox
July "winner": Jerome Williams, Angels
August "winner": Joe Saunders, Mariners

NL Pitcher of the Month
Kris Medlen, Braves.
Oh, look who's back: last year's dominant second half starter. Medlen is doing his thing once again for the Braves, going 4-0 over five September starts and 36 innings with an ERA of 1.00, striking out 33 and walking eight in the process. He also has nine straight quality starts, and will start game one of the NLDS against the Dodgers.

Honorable mentions: Andrew Cashner, Padres; Marco Estrada, Brewers; Matt Cain, Giants; Gerrit Cole, Pirates; Michael Wacha, Cardinals

April winner: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
May winner: Matt Harvey, Mets
June winner: Matt Harvey, Mets
July winner: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
August winner: Jose Fernandez, Marlins

NL Worst Pitcher of the Month
John Hellweg, Brewers.
Milwaukee's rookie starter was not good in September by any stretch of the imagination. In 20 innings, Hellweg had a not awful 4.50 ERA. Yet, he somehow managed to strike out six and walk 13 in his four starts, defying all logic. Things really should have been worse for Hellweg than they were, but here we are.

Dishonorable mentions: Bronson Arroyo, Reds; Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks; Juan Nicasio, Rockies; Randall Delgado, Diamondbacks; Ryan Vogelsong, Giants

April "winner": Jonathan Sanchez, Pirates
May "winner": Kyle Lohse, Brewers
June "winner": Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks
July "winner": Kyle Kendrick, Phillies
August "winner": Jake Westbrook, Cardinals

AL Rookie of the Month
Josmil Pinto, Twins.
Minnesota's rookie catcher put together a great September, hitting .342/.398/566 with four homers in his first month in the big leagues, playing for a miserable club. His future looks bright, as long as the Twins don't trade him for a closer.

Honorable mentions: Wil Myers, Rays; Kole Calhoun, Angels; James Paxton, Mariners; Brett Oberholtzer, Astros; Dan Straily, Athletics

April winner: Brandon Barnes, Astros
May winner: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox
June winner: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox
July winner: Wil Myers, Rays
August winner: Avisail Garcia, White Sox

NL Rookie of the Month
Matt Adams, Cardinals.
Matt Adams sure can rake, but he had nowhere to play in St Louis…until Allen Craig got hurt, that is. Playing every day in September, Adams hit .315/.344/.609 with eight homers to help power the Cardinals to the NL Central title. Because if there's something the Cardinals need, it's yet another talented young player…

Honorable mentions: Matt Davidson, Diamondbacks; Charlie Culberson, Rockies; Christian Yelich, Marlins; Gerrit Cole, Pirates; Michael Wacha, Cardinals

April winner: Evan Gattis, Braves
May winner: Evan Gattis, Braves
June winner: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
July winner: Jose Fernandez, Marlins
August winner: Jose Fernandez, Marlins

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.