08/04/2003 5:26 PM ET
Florida's Miguel Cabrera named National League Pepsi Rookie of the Month for July
Florida Marlins outfielder Miguel Cabrera, who batted .318 with five home runs and 21 RBI, was named the National League Pepsi Rookie of the Month for July. Cabrera follows June winner Dontrelle Willis as the second consecutive Marlin to win the award.
In 24 games, Cabrera was 27-for-85 with eight doubles and 16 runs scored. He led all NL rookies in RBI and doubles while compiling a slugging percentage of .612 and an on-base percentage of .379. The 20-year old Venezuelan made his Major League debut on June 20 and hit a walk-off two-run home run to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the bottom of the 11th inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became just the third player since 1900 to hit a game-ending home run in his debut and the first in the National League.
Philadelphia outfielder Marlon Byrd finished second in the voting after batting .351 with three home runs and 14 RBI and was tied for the NL lead with 40 hits. Other rookies receiving votes were San Francisco's Jerome Williams (3-1, 1.87 ERA); Houston pitchers Jeriome Robertson (4-1, 3.18 ERA), Brad Lidge (1.26 ERA in 14 G) and Mike Gallo (1-0, 0.93 ERA); Jason Phillips (.343, 4 HR, 18 RBI) of the New York Mets; Arizona's Brandon Webb (3-2, 3.23 ERA); San Diego's Miguel Ojeda (.289, 9 RBI); and Willis (2-1, 2.94 ERA).
Cabrera will receive a specially designed award to commemorate his Pepsi Rookie of the Month performance.