Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon has been named the American League Rookie of the Month for April.
In 13 relief appearances for the Red Sox, Papelbon threw 14.1 IP of scoreless baseball while striking out 14 and walking just two batters. The 25-year-old right hander converted all ten of his save opportunities to become the Major League leader in that category. Last season, appearing in a variety of roles for Boston, Papelbon went 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA in 34.0 IP. In 13 games this season Papelbon has recorded a strikeout in all but two of them. In Boston's 7-6 loss to Toronto on April 21, the Mississippi State University product threw 2.1 IP of one-hit scoreless ball to help extend the game to its eventual 12th inning conclusion. On April 29 the native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana struck out the side to beat the Devil Rays 9-6. The win by Papelbon marks the second time a Red Sox has captured the Rookie of the Month award; Kevin Youkilis won the honor in May of 2004.
Other A.L. rookies who made an impact in April were Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima (.267, 2 HR, 12 RBI); Detroit starter Justin Verlander (3-2, 3.52); and Texas starter John Koronka (3-1, 4.25).
Papelbon will receive a specially designed trophy as the American League Rookie of the Month.