Baltimore Orioles player of the month: Were Tony's taters enough to hold off Henderson's heroic effort?

Anthony Santander and Gunnar Henderson both had incredible months.
Philadelphia Phillies v Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies v Baltimore Orioles / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

The month of June has come to a close and boy, do the Orioles deserve a day off. They have just completed a stretch that saw them play 43 games in 45 days, including 29 of the 30 days of June. Not only were the Orioles playing nearly everyday, but their schedule was full of challenging games. The month started with 10 straight games against the division rival Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, followed by three straight series against the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees, who are three of the best teams in baseball. The Birds ended the month with tough series in Houston and Cleveland before returning home and taking three of four from the Texas Rangers.

Even though the Birds had one of the most difficult months in recent history, the Orioles finished the month 17-12 and continued to prove that they do belong among the game's elite teams. To achieve that kind of success takes a true team effort, and many players had noteworthy months, but two guys stood out above the rest. Stop me if you've heard this before, but they were Anthony Santander and Gunnar Henderson. Let's break down their stats head to head.

Henderson Santander
Hits: 39 29
Doubles: 11 3
Triples: 0 0
Homers: 8 13
RBI: 17 26
Runs: 31 19
Slash line: .342/.432/.649 .264/.314/.645
OPS: 1.081 .959

Orioles' Gunnar Henderson and Anthony Santander went head to head for June Player of the Month

Santander got a lot of attention by leading the majors with 13 home runs in the month of June for an Orioles team that set a franchise record with 60 homers in the month. His 26 RBI in the month were second in all of baseball behind only Aaron Judge. The rest of Santander's numbers are still very good and show exactly why he's been named a finalist in the All-Star voting. Unfortunately for Tony Taters, Henderson was just a little bit better.

Henderson's 39 hits were tied for the major league lead, and he led everyone with his 31 runs scored. He was tops in the junior circuit with 11 doubles (behind only Jonathan India in the National League). The Gunn Show ranked in baseball's top 10 in home runs, steals, all three slash categories and OPS in the month of June. These numbers are arguably better than when Henderson won AL Player of the Month for March/April this season, and if it wasn't for Judge going on an unbelievable tear, Henderson likely would have won it again. He'll have to settle for his second Orioles Player of the Month in the first three months of the season.

Henderson and Judge look like they will be in an MVP battle all season long. Judge is trying to win his second, while Henderson looks to be the first Oriole to win the award since his boss, Cal Ripken Jr., did it in 1991. It should be a great race to watch, and while Judge may have gotten the edge this month, he and Henderson show no signs of slowing down. In fact, the race is only getting better.