Philadelphia Phillies first baseman/outfielder Rhys Hoskins has been voted the National League Rookie of the Month for August, and Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi has been voted the American League Rookie of the Month for August.
Hoskins slashed .304/.402/.747 with 19 runs scored, 24 hits, two doubles, 11 home runs, 25 RBI and 12 walks over 22 games played to claim his first career monthly award. Rhys, a fifth round selection by Philadelphia in the 2014 MLB Draft, paced all qualified Major League rookies in runs scored, home runs, extra-base hits, RBI and slugging percentage. This is Philadelphia’s first Rookie of the Month Award since Hoskins’ teammate Maikel Franco won in June 2015.
Across a five-game stretch from August 23rd-27th, Rhys homered in every contest, matching the longest such streak in Phillies history, as well as Major League history. Originally established by Detroit’s Rudy York in 1937, the California State University product became the sixth player to match the record, and the first since Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. In Monday’s 6-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves, Hoskins plated his 25th runner of the season in just his 19th Major League game as part of a multi-hit effort. With the RBI, the 24-year-old reached the 25-RBI threshold in the second-fewest games since RBI became an official statistic in 1920, trailing only Mandy Brooks, who reached the mark in 17 games played for the Chicago Cubs during the 1925 season. On Thursday night against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park, the Sacramento, California native extended his hitting streak to 13 games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hoskins became the first player in team history to record a hitting streak of at least 13 contests within his first 30 career Major League games since Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn accomplished the feat during his 1948 All-Star campaign. During his torrid stretch dating back to August 19th, the right-handed-hitting slugger posted a slash line of .367/.436/.898 with 14 runs scored, 18 hits, two doubles, eight homers and 20 RBI, leading the Phillies to a 7-6 record.
First baseman Josh Bell (.323, 15 R, 11 XBH, 21 RBI) of the Pittsburgh Pirates also posted an impressive month. On Wednesday night against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, the 25-year-old clubbed his 23rd home run of the season, matching the NL record for the most home runs by a switch-hitting rookie (Chipper Jones, 1995). Starting pitcher Luke Weaver (3-0, 1.71 ERA, 21.0 IP, 29 SO) of the St. Louis Cardinals also received votes for NL Rookie of the Month. The 24-year-old finished his solid month with a pair of starts in which he logged at least 10 strikeouts and allowed fewer than two earned runs (August 23rd vs. San Diego and August 29th at Milwaukee).
Benintendi slashed .333/.420/.559 with 18 runs scored, 34 hits, five doubles, six home runs, 19 RBI, 14 walks and nine stolen bases over 26 games played to earn his first career monthly award. Among qualified AL rookie sluggers with at least 20 at-bats, Andrew finished the month first in runs scored, hits, RBI and stolen bases; tied for second in home runs; third in batting average and on-base percentage; and fourth in slugging percentage. Benintendi is the first Red Sox position player to earn Rookie of the Month honors since José Iglesias in May 2013.
From August 5th-18th, Benintendi posted an 11-game hitting streak, marking the longest streak of his career. During his hot stretch, the seventh overall selection in the 2015 MLB Draft batted .395 (17-for-43) with five home runs, a double and 13 RBI. Included in his hot streak was his multi-hit performance with a pair of three-run homers on August 12th against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Cincinnati, Ohio native became the first rookie ever with at least two homers and six RBI in a Red Sox-Yankees game, as well as the first Red Sox player age 23-or-younger to plate at least six runners against the Yankees since RBI became an official statistic in 1920. In addition, coupled with his two-homer and six-RBI game on July 4th against the Texas Rangers, Benintendi became the fifth rookie in Major League history, and the first in Red Sox history, to produce a pair of such games in a single season. The University of Arkansas product joined Hal Trosky (1934), Rudy York (1937), Cody Ross (2006) and Max Kepler (2016) as the only rookies overall to accomplish the feat. In his final game of the month on Thursday night against the Yankees, Benintendi reached base five times for the fourth time this season, matching five-time All-Star Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros and 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs for the Major League lead. The 23-year-old finished the month of August with 59 walks on the season, the most by a Red Sox rookie since Fred Lynn (62) in 1975, as well as the most home runs (18) and RBI (73) since Brian Daubach (21 HR, 73 RBI) in 1999.
Others receiving votes for AL Rookie of the Month included outfielder Nicky Delmonico (.307, 17 R, 6 HR, .573 SLG) of the Chicago White Sox; first baseman/outfielder Matt Olson (.305, 10 R, 7 HR, .661 SLG) and utilityman Chad Pinder (.267, 8 R, 20 H, 6 RBI) of the Oakland Athletics; outfielder Trey Mancini (.269, 14 R, 11 XBH, 15 RBI) of the Baltimore Orioles; and starting pitcher Jake Junis (3-0, 2.96 ERA, 27.1 IP, 27 SO) of the Kansas City Royals.