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The Yankees’ other Mr. Months

We have a Mr. October, a Mr. November, and in a way, a Mr. May, but who should get the honorifics for the other months?

Lou Gehrig Examining Baseball Bats

Reggie Jackson’s nickname of “Mr. October” was forever cemented when he hit three home runs as the Yankees clinched the 1977 World Series with a Game 6 win. Twenty-four years after that, Derek Jeter was given the nickname “Mr. November” in homage after he hit a walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2001 Fall Classic. The homer came in the wee hours of November 1st, the first time the World Series had ever been played in the month.

However, there are plenty of other months when baseball is alive and well. Let’s give a Yankee an honorific for each month. (And no, “Mr. May” for Dave Winfield doesn’t count. In addition to that being a bad “George Steinbrenner at his most George Steinbrenner-ish” moment, it’s not even true. By OPS, May was Winfield’s fourth-best month. He was actually pretty even from month to month.)

Using Baseball Reference’s Stathead feature, let’s look at the career splits by months for every Yankee with at least 100 plate appearances and award the leader a Mr. Month honorific. Also, one player is being specifically left out. Babe Ruth is not included in this, because he was a human cheat code and would’ve won literally every month otherwise. Sure, just listing Ruth stats is fun, but it’s not what I set out to do when looking these numbers up.

With that out of the way ...

Mr. April*

Raul Mondesi swings at a pitch Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Sneaking in with 116 plate appearances and taking Mr. April is Raúl Mondesi. He played just one April with the Yankees, in 2003, but was very good in it. Over the course of it, he hit .347/.422/.683 with 8 home runs and 35 hits. He only went down from there that season, and if you take out his April state, he hit just .223/.293/.389 until the Yankees traded him in July.

A good April 2022 (or whenever he gets next gets to play in April considering the lockout stuff) could see Aaron Judge take this title, as he has a career 1.021 OPS in the month compared to Mondesi’s 1.106.

*According to the way that Baseball Reference does splits, March stats are counted in here too, but teams typically play only a handful of regular season games, if any, in March, hence why I’m going with “Mr. April.”

Mr. May

As mentioned, Winfield’s “Mr. May” moniker was inaccurate, and the actual winner is a guy whose playoff credentials cannot be questioned either. With a career 1.046 in 1,556 plate appearances in the month, Mr. May goes to Lou Gehrig. Remarkably, that OPS is actually below Gehrig’s career total, and yet he still tops the non-Ruth leaderboard. (For reference, Winfield’s May OPS as a Yankee was .838.)

Mr. June

The non-Ruth answer for this month is again Gehrig, as he hit .378/.470/.739 in June over the years. His birthday fell in June as well on the 19th, so perhaps he surged in his birthday month. (Or maybe he was just really good at baseball.)

Coming in just behind the Iron Horse, however, was one of the more random names to pop up on any of these leaderboards. Ron Hassey OPSed 1.184 in the month in his two seasons with the team. However, that’s maybe only the second most notable thing about Hassey’s tenure with the Yankees, behind the fact that the Yankees and White Sox traded him back and forth to each other four separate times.

Mr. July

Milwaukee Brewers v New York Yankees Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Over two different stints with the team, Mike Stanley had arguably the best record of any Yankee in the month of July. The hard-hitting catcher from the ascendant early-to-mid ‘90s Yankees teams, Stanley OPSed .350/.433/.686 in June, a month that was responsible for nearly a third of the home runs he hit over his Yankee career: 23 of 72.

Mr. August

He maybe should’ve been included in the exceptions with Ruth, but this is another month won by Gehrig. His 1.111 OPS is the best of the non-Babe players, but another current Yankee could usurp this title with a good 2022. Luke Voit’s not terribly far behind Gehrig’s June numbers. If the Yankees keep Voit, he could make a run at the Mr. August crown this coming season.

Pour one out for Gary Sánchez, who made his mark with an incredible August 2016, but recent seasons have dropped his August OPS to a good, but not good enough to win the month: .959.

Mr. September*

*-there’s a similar deal to the March/April thing, where Baseball Reference includes any handful of October regular season games in the September splits.

He may have played just one season with the Yankees, but he sure ended the year on a good note. Mr. September goes to Bobby Bonds. In 24 games in September 1975, Bonds put up a 1.093 OPS with 14 extra base hits in 110 plate appearances.

As mentioned, the actual best OPS in literally all of these months is Ruth, so he is truly Mr. Baseball Season.