INDIANAPOLIS — Third baseman Matt Hague has been named the Indianapolis Indians’ Player of the Month for June. He will accept the award – a custom-made watch courtesy of Windsor Jewelry – before tonight’s home contest against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The two-time Tribe MVP provided a much-needed offensive spark to a lineup searching for a new identity following the recall of phenom Gregory Polanco. Team captain Hague answered the call by contributing across the board with team-leading totals of 13 runs scored, 28 total hits, five homers, 11 extra-base knocks and an incredible 24 RBI in an Indians-best 28 games during the month. Hague chipped in his impressive performances at the plate while suiting up at three different positions for Indianapolis, including eight games at first base, 14 contests at third, 10 as the designated hitter and even one appearance on the mound, where he tossed a scoreless ninth inning against the first-place Durham Bulls on June 14 at Victory Field.
“[Hague] puts his nose to the grindstone and just keeps going, keeps going, keeps going,” Indians coach Tom Filer, who has shared parts of five seasons with Hague, said. “He shows up every day ready to play. I think he’s been one of the leaders on our team…”
Rightfully dubbed “The Hit Collector,” Hague more than fulfilled his reputation by hitting safely in 22 of his 28 games during June and reaching base in all but four contests with his 11 walks and three hit-by-pitches. Even more impressive, the 2014 IL All-Star’s 24 RBI were more than double the amount of any other Tribe batter last month, while also ranking tied for the second-most RBI in the league. Hague put an exclamation mark on his dominant month by launching his fifth and final longball on June 28, finishing ranked behind just seven IL batters in home runs.
“He’s done a real nice job of driving in runs this year,” Indians coach Mike Pagliarulo said. “I think because, number one, he wants to be in that situation; that comes first. And he’s been working on some things technically with his approach that’s allowed him to hit the ball a little bit further, and that’s been the key for him…”
As of July 7, Hague is batting .273 (76-for-278) with 46 runs, 13 doubles, one triple, 13 homers (T-7th, IL) and a league-leading 59 RBI. He enters Monday’s action having reached base safely in 70 of his 78 total games, a feat which includes a 25-game on-base streak from May 11 – June 5, and an IL-best, 21-game road streak from April 8 – June 5.
Following the current 12-game homestand, Hague will join fellow Indians standouts of left-handed closer Andy Oliver and right-handed starter Casey Sadler as team representatives at the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 16 in Durham, NC.