A pair of hot-hitting first-year players -- the Yankees' Gleyber Torres and the Pirates' Austin Meadows -- were recognized for their May performances with Rookie of the Month awards in the American and National Leagues, respectively, Major League Baseball announced Saturday.Meadows didn't debut until May 18, but has made such
A pair of hot-hitting first-year players -- the Yankees' Gleyber Torres and the Pirates' Austin Meadows -- were recognized for their May performances with Rookie of the Month awards in the American and National Leagues, respectively, Major League Baseball announced Saturday.
Meadows didn't debut until May 18, but has made such an impact for the Pirates that he didn't need a full month in the big leagues to become the first Pirates player to win Rookie of the Month since the award's inception, in 2009.
The 23-year-old outfielder -- who is rated as the Pirates' No. 2 prospect (No. 39 overall) by MLB Pipeline -- entered Saturday batting .409 with eight extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple and four homers) and seven RBIs through his first 13 games.
Meadows was the fifth player, according Elias Sports Bureau, to debut in the expansion era (since 1961) and hit .400 with at least four home runs in his first 40 at-bats, joining Jose Pujols, Jeff Francoeur, Brian Giles and Yasiel Puig.
"If you're not impressed by Meadows' at-bats," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said earlier this week, "you need to go watch another sport right now."
Torres, the AL's recipient, is the Yankees' top prospect and No. 4 in all of baseball, per Pipeline. This May distinction comes on the heels of the second baseman earning AL Player of the Week honors on Monday. Torres slashed .317/.374/.659 in May, clubbing all nine of his homers -- including five in a four-game span last week -- and driving in 24 runs.
"Being that young and playing for this organization, there's a lot of pressure," Yankees pitcher Carsten Sabathia said of Torres, after the rookie's game-winning hit gave the Yankees' an extra-innings, walk-off victory over the Astros on Tuesday. "For him to be able to deliver in these moments, it just means there's more to come."
Torres is the third Yankees player to win the award. Catcher Gary Sanchez won it in August 2016 and Aaron Judge earned the distinction four times in 2017 (April, May, June and September).
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.