The International League announced on Tuesday that Louisville Bats infielder Josh VanMeter has been awarded the IL Player of the Month Award for April. He is the first Bat to win the award since outfielder Scott Schebler won the award in July 2016.
A Norwell High School grad, VanMeter finished the month of April with a .358 batting average (34-for-95), leading the International League in games played (26), hits (34), runs (24), home runs (11), RBI (28), total bases (24), slugging percentage (.758), OPS (1.204) and weight runs created plus (196).
The 11 home runs and 28 RBI are both April records in RiverBats/Bats history (since 2000), and the 34 hits are the most in April since Raul Gonzalez‘ 38 hits in April 2002, for which he was awarded the IL Player of the Month Award, the last Louisville player to win it in April until VanMeter.
The 11 homers are tied for most in any month by a River/Bats player, with only Juan Francisco ‘s 11 in July 2010. The 28 RBI set an April record, and are the most in any month for the Bats since Felix Perez had 28 RBI in May 2014.
The 24-year-old native of Ossian (AH-see-in), Indiana recorded 5 hits on April 26 vs. Norfolk, the first 5-hit game for the Bats since Schebler on July 26, 2016. VanMeter hit 3 home runs on April 29 at Toledo, one of 3 multi-homer games he had in the month, and making it the first 3-homer game for the Bats since Brandon Dixon on August 20, 2017. In that game, VanMeter set a new Bats record with 8 RBI, tying the franchise record for most RBI in a game with Mark Dougherty, who had 8 RBI on June 21, 1987 for the Louisville Redbirds.
VanMeter had his contract selected by the Cincinnati Reds on May 5, making his Major League debut that same day.