Hamilton, Okajima selected as Rookies of the Month for April
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Josh Hamilton, who led all rookies with six home runs and tied for the lead among Major League rookies with 13 RBI, has been voted National League Rookie of the Month for April, while Boston Red Sox left-hander Hideki Okajima, who fanned 17 batters in 12.2 innings pitched, has earned American League Rookie of the Month honors.
Hamilton also led all rookies with a .609 slugging percentage and posted a .365 on base percentage. He batted .266 (17-64) with 12 runs, two doubles and a stolen base. This marks the first time that a member of the Reds has earned the honor since Austin Kearns in May 2002.
Okajima appeared in 12 games with a 0.71 ERA in April. The 31-year-old reliever allowed just five hits, one home run and three walks. Okajima picked up his first Major League save against the New York Yankees on April 20th.
Akinori Iwamura (.339, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI) of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays finished a close second in the voting to Okajima. Also receiving A.L. votes were Okajima's Red Sox teammate, Daisuke Matsuzaka (3- 2, 4.36 ERA, 38 SO); Delmon Young (.257, 5 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI) of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays; Angels pitcher Dustin Moseley (2-0, 1.17 ERA, 7 SO); Adam Lind (.288, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI) of the Toronto Blue Jays; and Joakim Soria (1-1, 3.00 ERA, 14 SO) of the Kansas City Royals.
Other N.L. rookies receiving votes included Houston's Chris Sampson (3-1, 3.55 ERA, 19 SO); Milwaukee's Tony Gwynn (.368, 7 H, 4 RBI); Colorado's Jason Hirsh (2-2, 3.41 ERA, 25 SO); San Diego's Kevin Cameron (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 13 SO); and Joe Smith (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 14 SO) of the New York Mets. Okajima and Hamilton each will receive a specially designed trophy to commemorate their Rookie of the Month performances.
Who would have seen this coming in the off-season? Congrats, guys!