I know the Astros still have a few games left to play in July, but they might as well go ahead and give Yuli Gurriel the Player of the Month Award.
Gurriel has been an absolute terror to opposing pitchers ever since he asked Carlos Beltran for advice. While the Astros were in New York playing the Yankees, Beltran suggested to Gurriel that he watch the pitch with both eyes. This in turn, also caused him to open up his stance ever so slightly and the rest is history.
Along with the Astros and their fans, Gurriel has been very grateful for that advice back in June. “Carlos helped me a lot,” Gurriel said Tuesday night through an interpreter. “He told me to look at the ball with two eyes and not with one eye. Just making that adjustment has helped me out.”
Yuli Gurriel leads the American League in a host of offensive categories for July. He is first in home runs, batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, WAR, and wRC+. In most other stats he is among the top five leaders. What more could you possibly ask of a player to be the hands-down best player of the month.
His slash line for July is .403/.432/.935 with an OPS of 1.367. Gurriel has hit 12 HRs in 19 games, including the inside-the-park home run the other night against the Oakland A’s. He has compiled 28 runs-batted-in and scored 18 runs.
Gurriel’s Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) of .547 and Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) of 257 far exceeds the second place Mike Trout. He also tops Trout with a 1.7 WAR for July. While racking up these impressive numbers, the has also dropped his strikeout percentage to 11.1% which is good for fifth in the League.
In short, there is simply no other batter that even comes close to Gurriel’s performance for the month of July. Even with a little less than a week left to play, I don’t see anyone catching up to him. Gurriel may be thankful to Beltran for his advice, but being that he is now employed by the Yankees, Beltran may regret giving that advice come playoff time.