Sanchez named AL's top player, rookie for August

Yankees' No. 5 prospect becomes first catcher to win both awards in same month

Sanchez named AL's top player, rookie for August

BALTIMORE -- Shelf space may soon be at a premium for Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who will be bringing home both the American League Player of the Month Award and the Rookie of the Month Award after a record-setting August.

Sanchez hit .389/.458/.832 with 11 home runs, nine doubles and 21 RBIs in 24 games after being recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 3.

"It feels great to win the award, but the reality is that the focus is to keep winning games right now," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "We want to keep winning games, and we want to keep winning series. This is a new month now, so that's what we want to focus on."

Sanchez's sizzling start

The 23-year-old is the first catcher in Major League history to win both awards in the same month, and the first player to do so since Jose Abreu of the White Sox in July 2014.

Sanchez -- ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Yankees' No. 5 prospect -- led all American Leaguers in slugging percentage (.832); ranked second in home runs, extra-base hits (20) and on-base percentage (.458); third in batting average; and tied for fifth in doubles.

Upon his promotion, Sanchez became the first player with at least 11 home runs in his first 23 career games. He also was the first player to win consecutive AL Rookie of the Week honors.

"Pretty impressive, considering what he's done, coming up at an important time and facing good teams," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's really impressive."

Sanchez had a nine-game hitting streak snapped in Friday's 8-0 loss to the Orioles and is just 3-for-17 on this road trip. He senses that pitchers have made adjustments in how they are challenging him, and Sanchez said that he must now respond in kind.

"It's part of baseball, when you go through ups and downs," Sanchez said. "Nobody is going to be able to hit 1.000. I'll make adjustments and go from there."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.