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April Fantasy Awards
May 5, 2003

The Cubs are still in first place, so you know it still must be early in the season.  A month has passed, however, and that can only mean one thing:  April Fantasy Awards.  Here are the best of the best for April:

AL Fantasy Pitcher of the Month
Mike Mussina
A WHIP under 1.00, an ERA well under 2.00, 42 strikeouts, and 5 wins provide every reason for Mussina to take this award home in April.  That's as much as you can ask from a fantasy pitcher in one month.  Esteban Loaiza was right on his heels and actually had a better WHIP and ERA, but the Moose's 42 Ks were enough to sway this voter.

Honorable Mention
Esteban Loaiza - 5 W, 35 K, 0.67 WHIP, 1.25 ERA
Mike MacDougal - 10 S, 1 W, 3.55 ERA
Roger Clemens - 4 W, 35 K, 2.70 ERA

NL Fantasy Pitcher of the Month
John Smoltz
The Braves closer provided startling numbers this April, most notably his ERA of 0.00.  In 13 2/3 innings, Smoltz also struck out 19 hitters and finished with a WHIP of 0.88.  Eric Gagne quietly provided even better numbers, but his teammates didn't give him enough chances to save games, so he came up just short.

Honorable Mention
Javier Vazquez - 58 K(!), 3 W, 2.95 ERA, 0.91 WHIP
Eric Gagne - 8 S, 24 K, 0.63 WHIP, 0.00 ERA (!)
Kerry Wood - 4 W, 48 K, 2.77 ERA
Mark Prior - 4 W, 38 K, 1.70 ERA, 0.84 WHIP

AL Fantasy Hitter of the Month
Alfonso Soriano
No surprise here.  Soriano continues his productive 2002 ways, finishing April with a .371 BA, 9 HRs, 25 RBIs, 26 Rs, and 6 SBs.  Add in the fact that he plays second base, and it's hard to deny that Soriano is truly a 5 tool fantasy player.

Honorable Mention
Raul Mondesi - .347, 8 HR, 18 RBI, 20 R, 5 SB
Alex Rodriguez - .355, 9 HR, 23 RBI, 23 R, 3 SB

NL Fantasy Hitter of the Month
Gary Sheffield
Derrek Lee stole 10 bases (as a first baseman, no less), but Sheffield hit for average (.340), power (7 HR), production (17 RBI, 27 R), and ran a little (5 SB).  Gary wins the award because he really helped his fantasy teams in all aspects of the game.

Honorable Mention
Derrek Lee - 4 HR, 10 SB
Preston Wilson - .321, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 5 SB

Hopefully a few of your players were listed above.  If not, don't sell the farm just yet.  Our next article deals with slumping players due for a major breakout soon.  Stay tuned and good luck!