May was full of firsts for Bryce Harper and he can now add his first award to the mix, as it was announced Sunday that Harper was named National League Rookie of the Month. In 28 games he came to the plate 121 times, batting .271/.355/.505 with 4 HR, 10 RBI, 21 runs scored, 2 stolen bases, 13 BB, and 20 SO.
Monthly awards are voted on by members of the media. Arizona’s Wade Miley (3-1, 3.16 ERA) and San Diego’s Yonder Alonso (.298, 1 HR, 10 RBI) came in second and third in voting, according to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider.
This was the second time in the organization’s history that a player won Rookie of the Month. Ryan Church took home the award in 2005, also in the month of May. He hit .377/.406/.508 with a home run and 11 RBI. This prompted The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore to question, via Twitter, which of the two outfielders will have the better career?
Church has not played since 2010 but finished a seven year career with a .264/.336/.431 line with 56 HR and 267 RBI. Plate discipline was not one of Church’s strengths, considering he struck out 459 times and walked only 188. Harper has certainly arrived with much more fanfare than Church ever received in his career but it’s too early to tell who’ll have the better career. A betting man might opt for Harper here.