Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has been voted National League Rookie of the Month for July. Rizzo becomes the fourth Cubs player to win the award (fifth time), joining Hee-Sop Choi (April 2003), Geovany Soto (April and August 2008) and Darwin Barney (April 2011).
In 25 contests during July, Rizzo led N.L. rookies with 32 hits, seven home runs, 17 RBI and 55 total bases while ranking second in runs scored (14). The 22-year-old ranked third among N.L. rookies with a .330 (32-for-97) batting average, a .567 slugging percentage and a .375 on-base percentage. Rizzo tied Gene Baker (1954) for the most home runs by a Cubs rookie during the month of July and the seven homers were the most in a calendar month by a Cubs rookie since Mel Hall’s nine round-trippers in August 1983. Rizzo also collected eight go-ahead RBI and four game-winning RBI during the month, leading N.L. rookies in both categories. On Sunday, the Florida native clubbed his first career walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Cubs a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, capping a 3-for-4 day. In Friday’s series opener, the left-handed-hitting slugger matched a career-best with three RBI (also July 6th and 31st) in a losing effort, as the Cubs lost to the Cardinals, 9-6. Rizzo was 2-for-4 on the day, marking his second consecutive two-hit performance and one of nine multi-hit efforts during the month. The youngster hit safely in 20 of his 25 games in July and collected hits in 23 of his first 29 games since being called up from Triple-A Iowa on June 26th. On July 6th, Rizzo had a career-best four hits, including a three-run, go-ahead homer to lead the Cubs to an 8-7 victory over the New York Mets at Citi Field. On July 1st, he drove-in the game-winning run with a sixth-inning single en route to a 3-0 win over the Houston Astros. With his clutch performance, Rizzo became the first Cubs player to collect three game-winning RBI in his first five games with the team. Acquired by Chicago from San Diego along with Minor League pitcher Zach Cates for right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner in January, Rizzo was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft by the Boston Red Sox. Since his promotion to the Majors, he leads all N.L. rookies in hitting, home runs and slugging percentage. This is his first monthly award.
Other rookies receiving votes included Milwaukee Brewers starter Michael Fiers (1-2, 1.01 ERA, 26 SO, 26.2 IP); Cincinnati Reds utilityman Todd Frazier (.306, 3 2B, 5 HR, 15 RBI); San Diego Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso (.290, 11 2B, 3 HR, 19 RBI, .505 SLG, .368 OBP); Colorado Rockies shortstop Josh Rutledge (.381, 6 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 3 SB, .683 SLG, .394 OBP); outfielder-second baseman Jordany Valdespin (.347, 5 HR, 10 RBI, .653 SLG, .373 OBP) of the New York Mets; Washington Nationals utilityman Steve Lombardozzi (.293, 29 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 12 RBI); and Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star left-hander Wade Miley (3-2, 3.31 ERA, 29.0 SO, 32.2 IP).
The National League Rookie of the Month for July, Anthony Rizzo, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.