Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. has been voted National League Rookie of the Month in August, and New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andújar has been voted American League Rookie of the Month for the fifth month of the 2018 season. The announcement regarding the pair of rookies on Postseason contenders was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Acuña posted a slash line of .336/.405/.698 with 25 runs scored, 39 hits, seven doubles, a triple, 11 home runs, 21 RBI, 12 walks and six stolen bases over 30 games played to claim his first career monthly honor. Ronald finished his strong month among NL rookies (min. 20 at-bats) first in runs scored, hits, home runs, RBI, extra-base hits (19) and slugging percentage; tied for first in stolen bases; second in doubles; and third in batting average and on-base percentage. The dynamic outfielder is the first Braves player to earn the NL Rookie of the Month Award since Evan Gattis won consecutive months in April-May 2013.
In Atlanta's doubleheader against the Miami Marlins on August 13th, Acuña became the fourth player in Major League history, and the first National Leaguer, to club leadoff home runs in both games of a doubleheader, joining Hall of Famers Harry Hooper (1913) and Rickey Henderson (1993), as well as Brady Anderson (1999), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Posting his first career multi-homer game in the following contest, the 20-year-old became the youngest player in MLB history to homer in five consecutive games, and matched the Braves franchise record. Moreover, the Venezuelan native enjoyed an eight-game hitting streak from August 8th-14th, slashing .471/.514/1.235 with 16 hits, eight home runs and 15 RBI during the torrid stretch. According to Elias, Ronald (20 years, 239 days) became the youngest slugger since at least 1900 to club eight round-trippers in an eight-game span. In the final game of his award-winning month on Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 20-yearold phenom connected for his 22nd home run of the season and became the first National League rookie over the last 110 years to record at least 39 hits and 11 home runs in a single calendar month. Luke Easter (June 1950) and Rudy York (August 1937) were the only American Leaguers to accomplish the feat in Baseball history. In addition, his 11 round-trippers in August tied Hall of Famer Mel Ott (June 1929) for the most homers by a player 20-or-younger in a calendar month. The former top prospect is on pace to become just the fourth player since at least 1876 to bat .290-or-better with 23 home runs and 11 stolen bases in a season while younger than 21 years old, and would join Mike Trout (2012), Alex Rodriguez (1996) and Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda (1958).
Others receiving votes for NL Rookie of the Month included starting pitchers Jack Flaherty (4-0, 1.13 ERA, 32.0 IP, 38 SO) and Austin Gomber (5-0, 2.38 ERA, 34.0 IP, 29 SO) of the St. Louis Cardinals, as well as second baseman Jeff McNeil (.330, 14 R, 6 2B, 3 3B) of the New York Mets.
Andújar batted .320 (39-for-122) with 21 runs scored, seven doubles, 10 home runs, 29 RBI and a stolen base across 30 games to claim his second career AL Rookie of the Month Award, previously winning earlier this season in June. Among AL rookie hitters with at least 20 atbats, Miguel finished the month first in runs scored, hits, home runs, RBI and extra-base hits (17); tied for first in doubles; fifth in slugging percentage (.623); and sixth in on-base percentage (.344). This is the Yankees' third AL Rookie of the Month Award this season, following Miguel's previous honor and his All-Star teammate Gleyber Torres (May).
Over a torrid nine-game stretch from August 7th-15th, Andújar slashed .378/.410/.892 with nine runs scored, 14 hits, four doubles, five home runs and 11 RBI to lead the Yankees to a 6-3 record. From August 9th-13th, the Dominican Republic native logged a streak of five games in which he tallied at least one RBI and one run scored, his second streak this season of at least five games (also April 16th-23rd). Andújar became the second rookie in franchise history to bat at least .320 with 10-or-more home runs in a calendar month, joining All-Star Aaron Judge, who accomplished the feat during his Rookie of the Month-winning June 2017. Entering play today, the right-handed-hitting third baseman is on pace to become just the seventh rookie in AL history to bat .299-or-better with at least 38 doubles and 23 home runs, and would join Hall of Famers Ted Williams (1939) and Joe DiMaggio (1936), as well as Nomar Garciaparra (1997), Tony Oliva (1964), Hal Trosky (1934) and Dale Alexander (1929). Garciaparra and Oliva each earned AL Rookie of the Year honors during their historic seasons. In addition, joined by Torres (22 HR, 66 RBI), the 2018 Yankees are the sixth team in Major League history to have multiple rookies with at least 20 homers and 60 RBI in the same season, and the first since Mike Jacobs, Dan Uggla and Josh Willingham accomplished the feat for the 2006 Florida Marlins. The 1982 Minnesota Twins (Gary Gaetti and Kent Hrbek) were the last AL Club to do so.
Others receiving votes for AL Rookie of the Month included pitcher Brad Keller (3-1, 2.89 ERA, 37.1 IP, 31 SO) of the Kansas City Royals; starting pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (.328, 14 R, 6 HR, 18 RBI) of the Los Angeles Angels; and pitcher Jalen Beeks (4-0, 2.63 ERA, 27.1 IP, 24 SO) and infielder Joey Wendle (.330, 13 R, 10 XBH, 18 RBI) of the Tampa Bay Rays.
In recognition of their Rookie of the Month Awards, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Miguel Andújar will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.