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June Fantasy Awards
July 1, 2003

Baseball is right at the halfway point, and the premier players are starting to leave their mark.  In June, however, there were a couple surprises in the National League as some youngsters put up some numbers in a big way.  Let's get right to it.

AL Fantasy Pitcher of the Month
Mariano Rivera
Rivera has recovered from his injuries well, saving 11 games in June while only giving up 2 earned runs (0.90 ERA), striking out 21 and posting a WHIP of 0.75.  With the Yankees sure to heat up, there's no reason Rivera won't continue this pace the rest of the way.

Honorable Mention
Mike MacDougal - 8 S, 2 W, 2.77 ERA
Freddy Garcia - 5 W, 31 K, 2.05 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
Roy Halladay - 5 W, 36 K, 3.15 ERA, 1.16 WHIP

NL Fantasy Pitcher of the Month
Dontrelle Willis
Eric Gagne may have put up better numbers, but heading into June, Dontrelle Willis owners never could have expected 5 wins, 28 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.04 and a WHIP of 0.95.  His performance above expectations gives Willis the nod for June's award.

Honorable Mention
Eric Gagne - 10 S, 21 K, 1 W, 1.46 ERA, 0.73 WHIP
Jose Valverde - 9 S, 18 K, 1.29 ERA, 0.89 WHIP
Jason Schmidt - 4 W, 43 K, 1.53 ERA, 0.91 WHIP
Kerry Wood - 4 W, 54 K, 1.05 WHIP

AL Fantasy Hitter of the Month
Carlos Beltran
Beltran wins the AL award for the 2nd consecutive month, amassing 11 stolen bases to go along with 19 RBIs, 16 runs, 2 home runs, and a .303 average.  Alfonso Soriano was close behind, but finished June with just 9 RBIs.

Honorable Mention
Alfonso Soriano - 5 HR, 9 RBI, 23 R, 10 SB
Jason Giambi - .373, 11 HR, 29 RBI, 27 R
Garret Anderson - .336, 12 HR, 26 RBI, 20 R

NL Fantasy Hitter of the Month
Albert Pujols
There's nothing more valuable to a fantasy team than a player who can steal tons of bases and help your runs and average in the process.  Nothing, that is, except for a guy who hits .429 in a month with 8 home runs, 29 RBIs and 28 runs.  We'll overlook the fact that Albert Pujols didn't steal any bases in June and gladly hand him the monthly award this time around.  Juan Pierre was a close second with his 16 stolen bases, but Pujols excelled in 4 categories.

Honorable Mention
Juan Pierre - .303, 16 SB, 18 R
Jim Edmonds - .344, 14 HR, 29 RBI, 25 R
Edgar Renteria - .356, 21 RBI, 10 SB

July should be an interesting month with pitchers trying to adjust to the extra days off from the All-Star Break.  Some pitchers will benefit from the extra rest, while others suffer from a break in the routine.  Time will tell who comes out on top, and next month's Fantasy Awards will reveal July's best, so check back then to see if any All-Stars can carry their success throughout the month.