Yermín, Rogers named best rookies of April

May 3rd, 2021

White Sox designated hitter Yermín Mercedes (AL) and Marlins left-hander (NL) were named MLB's Rookies of the Month for April on Monday.

Mercedes burst onto the scene by hitting .415 with a .659 slugging percentage and 1.113 OPS in April, with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 22 games. 

The 28-year-old set a White Sox rookie record for March and April with 34 hits, surpassing José Abreu's mark of 31 set during his 2014 AL Rookie of the Year season. He also hit the longest home run of the MLB season so far, a 485-foot blast on April 8.

The White Sox have now opened back-to-back seasons by fielding the first AL Rookie of the Month winner. Before Mercedes, Luis Robert won it in 2020. 

Rogers went 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 28 innings over five starts for the Marlins. He outdueled both Mets ace Jacob deGrom -- the NL Pitcher of the Month -- and the Brewers' Corbin Burnes, who also received votes for Pitcher of the Month along with deGrom. Rogers threw six shutout innings apiece in his matchups with deGrom and Burnes and earned the win in both games.

"I think we do see a confident kid. If you read his comments in spring -- just about what he expected and thought about making this club, felt like he belonged here, that he had earned it, all of that -- so there was real confidence in there," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said after Rogers' duel with Burnes. "But it is quiet. It's not like boastful or anything else. I think it's just pretty matter of fact, in his mind. He's got a little fire that burns in there.

The 23-year-old is also only the seventh rookie pitcher ever with three wins, a 1.29 ERA or better and 38 or more strikeouts in a calendar month -- the others are Jack Flaherty (August 2018), José Fernández (August 2013), Hideo Nomo (June 1995), Dwight Gooden (September 1984), Orel Hershiser (July 1984) and Fernando Valenzuela (April 1981).

Rogers is the first Marlins player to win the NL Rookie of the Month Award since Justin Bour in September 2015, and Miami's first pitcher to win the award since Fernández in August 2013.

Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo also received votes for AL Rookie of the Month. Rogers' teammate Jazz Chisholm Jr., Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson, Reds second baseman Jonathan India, Brewers reliever J.P. Feyereisen, Braves starter Ian Anderson, Dodgers utilityman Zach McKinstry and Pirates third baseman/outfielder Phillip Evans received votes for NL Rookie of the Month.