08/11/08 1:08 PM ET
Davis tabbed AL Rookie of Month
Eight homers leads to slugging first baseman's July honor
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
That was the overriding message as Rangers slugger Chris Davis was selected on Monday as Gillette's Rookie of the Month for July in the American League. The Texas first baseman hit eight homers and 16 RBIs for a Rangers team that still has hopes of being in the Wild Card mix during the waning days of the season.
Davis will receive a Rookie of the Month trophy and Gillette will make a donation to a charitable organization in Davis' name. Davis hit for average as well as power in July, batting .303 in 99 at-bats. He was selected over Oakland right-hander Brad Ziegler and White Sox second baseman Alexei Ramirez.
Davis' July home-run binge didn't surprise Rangers manager Ron Washington.
"If you throw it in the wrong place, he doesn't miss," Washington said. "His power is legit."
Davis, a left-handed hitter, showed he can flourish with the long ball against both righties and lefties.
"He's going to be an everyday guy, so he needs to go out there and fight," Washington said. "He makes adjustments. He's the type of hitter that if you make a mistake, he'll make you pay."
Davis just tries to let his power numbers come naturally.
"Somebody asked me if I expect to go out there and hit a home run every time," Davis said. "I don't think anybody expects to do that. I'm obviously not going up there trying to hit the ball over the fence every time. I'm just going up there trying to put the ball in play and give myself a chance to get on base."
Ziegler and Ramirez also had a July to remember.
Ziegler contributed 17 scoreless innings coming out of the Oakland bullpen in July. Over that span, he allowed just nine hits and had 10 strikeouts.
Ramirez hit .341 for the White Sox in the month as Chicago continues to battle for the AL Central title. He also had four homers, four stolen bases and 14 RBIs.
The online fan voting at mlb.com/gillette represented 20 percent of the overall vote, with the remaining votes coming from team baseball writers and club broadcasters. Voters taking part in the monthly award process are automatically registered for a chance to go to one game during the World Series this October.
The National League winner for July was Colorado third baseman Ian Stewart, who hit .432 with 15 RBIs. Stewart was selected over fellow nominees Chris Volstad of the Marlins and Geovany Soto of the Cubs. Volstad went 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA, while helping the Marlins hang around the top of the NL East. Soto has been a fixture behind the plate for a Cubs team that is driving toward an NL Central title.
Balloting for the Rookie of the Month Award presented by Gillette begins exclusively at mlb.com/gillette during the first week of each month to determine the previous month's winners. The site lists nominees in both leagues as well as unique statistics, video clips and season-long editorial content built around the rookie theme.
Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.