09/06/2011 5:43 PM ET
Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves voted winner of the Gillette presents National League Rookie of the Month Award for August
Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has been voted the August recipient of the Gillette presents National
League Rookie of the Month Award.
Kimbrel, who also took home the honors for the month of June, becomes the 10th N.L. rookie to win the award at least twice in a season, joining Albert Pujols (2001), Miguel Cabrera (2003), Jason Bay (2004), Khalil Greene (2004), Zach Duke (2005), Josh Johnson (2006), Ryan Braun (2007), Geovany Soto (2008) and
Jason Heyward (2009). In addition, a Braves player has now captured the award in three consecutive months (Freddie Freeman in July), marking the first time in
the N.L. and the fourth time overall (Detroit, April-June 2010; Kansas City, June-August 2007; and Seattle, April-June 2001). The right-hander converted each of
his 10 save opportunities during the month, permitting just six hits in 12.2 scoreless innings over 13 appearances. The 23-year-old added 23 strikeouts with just four walks, and he recorded at least two strikeouts in his final eight appearances of August, tossing 1.0 inning in each. From August 14th-September 3rd, Kimbrel compiled a Major League record 10-game streak of collecting at least two strikeouts in no more than 1.0 inning pitched. The previous best streak of seven such games was achieved on three occasions in a single season: Matt Mantei (1999), Billy Wagner (2007) and Kimbrel (2010). On August 31st against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field, the Huntsville, Alabama native earned his 41st save of the season to pass Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers (40 in 2010) for the most saves by a Major
League rookie (since 1969). The 2011 N.L. All-Star has not allowed a run in his last 36 appearances dating back to June 14th. The 36.2-inning scoreless streak is the longest in the Majors this season, and in that span, he is 24-for-24 in save chances while allowing just 14 hits and nine walks with 66 strikeouts. The third
round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft leads all Major League relievers in strikeouts and he has fanned 112 of his 264 batters faced (42 percent).
Others rookies receiving votes included Houston Astros outfielders J.D. Martinez (.295, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 9 2B, 17 R, .509 SLG) and Brian Bogusevic (.338, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 8 2B, 10 R, 2 SB, .632 SLG); New York Mets outfielder Lucas Duda (.319, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 4 2B, 12 R, .527 SLG); Kimbrel's teammate Brandon Beachy (3-0,
3.41 ERA, 29.0 IP, 26 H, 37 SO, 5 BB); Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.256, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 4 2B, 13 R, .488 SLG); San Diego Padres left-hander Cory Luebke (2-2, 3.19 ERA, 36.2 IP, 30 H, 38 SO, 10 BB) and first baseman Jesus Guzman (.327, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 7 2B, 1 3B, 14 R, 6 SB); and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Yonder Alonso (.344, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 2 2B, 4 R, .688 SLG).
Kimbrel will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his Rookie of the Month performance.
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