Cardinals infielder Paul DeJong has just 54 big league games under his belt, but he's already proving himself as a force to be reckoned with at the game's highest level.
DeJong, celebrating his 24th birthday on Wednesday, received a gift from Major League Baseball for his impressive July, earning National League Rookie of the Month honors. He is the first Cardinals player to win the award since Kolten Wong in May 2014.
DeJong, a fourth-round selection by St. Louis in 2015 out of Illinois State University, batted .298/.347/.638 in July, while clubbing eight home runs and driving in 16.
• Past winners
The first-year player has been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Cardinals, who are still in the playoff hunt, sitting 5 1/2 games behind the Cubs for first place in the NL Central. DeJong is hitting .281/.308/.558, with 14 home runs and 32 RBIs in 208 plate appearances for St. Louis.
Among rookies with at least 50 games played, only the Yankees' Aaron Judge and the Dodgers' Cody Bellinger have a higher slugging percentage than DeJong.
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @OMacklinMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.