New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has been voted American League Rookie of the Month for the second consecutive month, and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger has been voted National League Rookie of the Month for May.
Judge batted .347 (33-for-95) with 17 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 17 RBI, 15 walks and three stolen bases to claim his second straight monthly award, becoming the first AL rookie to do so since Cleveland’s Tyler Naquin took home back-to-back monthly honors last season (June & July). Judge is the first AL rookie to claim the award in the season’s opening months since Nomar Mazara of the Texas Rangers was awarded AL Rookie of the Month in both April and May of last season. Among AL rookie leaders with a minimum of 20 at-bats, Aaron finished the period first in a number of offensive categories, including hits, runs scored, extra-base hits (13), home runs, RBI, walks and onbase percentage (.441).
Judge concluded the month tied for first in stolen bases, and second in batting average and slugging percentage (.642). On May 2nd against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, Judge went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, a pair of home runs, two walks and four RBI in New York’s 11-5 victory. With the outing, the 32nd overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft became the youngest Yankee (25 years, 6 days) with at least two homers and two walks in a game since Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle (24 years, 289 days) on August 4, 1956 against the Detroit Tigers.
On Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, Judge connected for his Major League-leading 17th home run of the season. The 25-year-old slugger became just the second rookie in Major League history to club at least 17 home runs before the start of June, joining Mark McGwire, who hit 19 round-trippers for the Oakland Athletics in April/May 1987. In last night’s rubber-match against the Orioles, the Linden, California native delivered his third multi-hit game in his last four contests, while scoring his 40th run of the 2017 campaign. Now tied with Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL lead, Judge became the first Yankees player to record at least 40 runs scored through the team’s first 50 games since Curtis Granderson also scored 40 runs in 2011.
Entering play today, the Yankees lead the AL East by 2.0 games and own a record of 30-20 (.600). Others receiving votes for AL Rookie of the Month included James Hoyt (1-0, 3.65 ERA, 12.1 IP, 21 SO) of the Houston Astros and Jorge Bonifacio (.267, 15 R, 10 XBH, 14 RBI) of the Kansas City Royals.
Bellinger hit .245 (26-for-106) with 22 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, nine home runs, 27 RBI, 11 walks and a stolen base to earn his first career monthly award. Cody is the first Dodgers player to win NL Rookie of the Month since teammate Corey Seager took home rookie honors last June. Among qualified NL rookie sluggers with at least 20 at-bats, the 21-year-old finished the month first in runs scored, hits, extra-base hits (15), home runs and RBI; tied for first in stolen bases; second in walks; third in slugging percentage (.566); and tied for fourth in doubles. On May 6th against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, Bellinger, who is the son of former Major Leaguer Clay Bellinger, went 2-for-4 with a home run, stolen base and career-high five RBI. With his first career grand slam in the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 10-2 win over the Padres,
Cody became the first Dodger in the modern era (since 1900) to hit five roundtrippers in his first 11 Major League games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Additionally, the Scottsdale, Arizona native became just the second player to debut since 1920 (when RBI became an official statistic) to record at least five home runs and 14 RBI in his first 11 games since Mark Quinn belted five homers and 16 RBI for the Royals in 1999. Following his multi-homer output the night before, as part of a three-hit game, Bellinger became the first player in club history since 1913 to log two multi-homer games in his first 10 career games (also April 29th vs. Philadelphia).
In Monday’s tilt against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Bellinger connected for his 11th home run of the 2017 campaign. With the solo homer, the Dodgers’ fourth round selection in the 2013 MLB Draft became the fastest Dodger in franchise history to reach 11 round-trippers, accomplishing the feat in 32 games. Bellinger is the first Dodger player to record 10-or-more homers in a calendar month since Matt Kemp (12) in April 2012. Since 1913, only four players have hit more homers through the first 32 games of their career, all doing so with 12 home runs: Mike Jacobs (2005-06, NYM/FLA); Kevin Maas (1990, NYY); Dave Hostetler (1981-82, MON/TEX); and José Abreu (2014, CWS). In addition, the 11 blasts match teammate Joc Pederson (May 2015) and James Loney (September 2007) for the most home runs by a rookie in any month in club history.
Moreover, with 27 RBI, the versatile youngster established a new Dodgers rookie record for RBI in the month of May, and tied Dick Cox for the third-most RBI by a rookie in any calendar month, following James Loney (32, September 2007) and Del Bissonette (29, June 1928). Others receiving votes for NL Rookie of the Month included Hunter Renfroe (.255, 15 R, 14 XBH, 17 RBI) of the Padres; German Márquez (4-1, 2.64 ERA, 30.2 IP, 25 SO) and April’s Rookie of the Month Antonio Senzatella (4-1, 4.11 ERA, 35.0 IP, 26 SO) of the Colorado Rockies; and Jesús Aguilar (.328, 11 R, 12 XBH, 12 RBI) of the Milwaukee Brewers.