07/02/2003 4:05 PM ET
Florida's Dontrelle Willis wins both National League Pepsi Pitcher and Rookie of the Month awards for June
Dontrelle Willis of the Florida Marlins was 5-0 with a 1.04 ERA in June en route to becoming the first player to capture both the National League Pepsi Pitcher and Rookie of the Month Awards in the same month.
Willis led the NL in wins, ERA and shutouts (2). He won all five games he started, pitched 34.2 innings, and allowed only four earned runs and 25 hits. He struck out 28 batters while walking eight. Willis, who made his Major League debut on May 9, tossed his first career complete game shutout on June 16 with a one-hitter against the New York Mets. The 21-year-old is the first rookie to capture the NL monthly pitching award since Hideo Nomo of the Dodgers won in June 1995. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is just the fourth pitcher since 1920 to win eight of his first 10 starts before the age of 22 (Paul Dean in 1934, Mark Fidrych in 1976 and Fernando Valenzuela in 1981).
Two other rookie pitchers received votes in both Pitcher and Rookie of the Month balloting. Jose Valverde of the Diamondbacks was 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA with 9 saves, and Montreal's Claudio Vargas was 3-1 with a 1.43 ERA.
Other pitchers nominated for the Pitcher of the Month Award were San Francisco's Jason Schmidt (4-2, 1.53 ERA); Philadelphia's Randy Wolf (4-0, 2.76 ERA); Eric Gagni (1-1, 1.45 ERA, 10 SV) of the Dodgers; and Cincinnati's Chris Reitsma (4-0, 0.51 ERA).
Rookies receiving votes were Milwaukee's Scott Podsednik (.373, 13 RBI); Philadelphia's Marlon Byrd (.364 average); and Bo Hart (.426 average) of the Cardinals.
Willis will receive two specially designed awards for being named both Pepsi Pitcher and Rookie of the Month.