Major League Baseball has selected Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani and Nationals outfielder Juan Soto -- a pair of serious contenders for this year's Rookie of the Year Awards -- as the American and National League's Rookies of the Month for September.
Ohtani and Soto submitted strong closing arguments for awards season, continuing to excel on teams who were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. Ohtani began his September by having his team recommend he undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but responded with a pair of home runs that same evening and kept on motoring. The 24-year-old put together a .310/.371/.632 slash line with seven total homers and 18 RBIs to finish with a .564 slugging percentage that tied for sixth among all players with at least 350 plate appearances.
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Meanwhile, Soto continued doing things that the baseball world has never seen a player his age do before. The 19-year-old stole three bases in a game against the Braves on Sept. 15, surpassing Rickey Henderson as the youngest player to do so. He also recorded his third multihomer game against the Phillies on Sept. 11 to set a new record for teenagers. Soto finished his rookie campaign with 22 homers, which tied teammate Bryce Harper for the second-most hit by a player before his 20th birthday. Overall, Soto hit .283/.383/.525 with six dingers and 20 RBIs to claim the September honors.