© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

06/04/09 3:56 PM ET

Parra named NL Rookie of the Month

Outfielder hit safely in 14 of the 16 games in May

SAN DIEGO -- Gerardo Parra turned a strong winter and spring into a trip to the Majors and parlayed an outstanding May into winning the Gillette presents National League Rookie of the Month Award.

Parra split last season between Class A Visalia and Double-A Mobile where he posted solid, if not spectacular, numbers.

A native of Venezuela, Parra played well in the Venezuelan Winter League and carried that momentum over into Spring Training where he solidified his standing as a top prospect.

"I don't think we have a better position player prospect in our organization," then-manager Bob Melvin said when Parra was optioned to Mobile towards the end of camp.

Parra was called up to the big leagues for the first time on May 13 and it didn't take him long to have success. In his first at-bat, he blasted a home run. Along with Atlanta Braves center fielder Jordan Schafer, he was the second rookie to go deep in his first big league at-bat this season, and the second Arizona player in history to connect in his first career at-bat (Alex Cabrera, June 2000).

Parra hit .319 with a .493 slugging percentage and a .360 on-base percentage for the month.

In his first five games he had at least one RBI becoming just the second player in the last 30 years to do so joining Mike Lansing (1993).

Parra had four two-hit games and two three-hit games and hit safely in 14 of the 16 games he played in during the month.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.