Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been voted the American League Rookie of the Month for September, his first rookie honor and the first for the Athletics since Jemile Weeks shared the award with Minnesota's Ben Revere in June 2011.
Cespedes batted .257 (28-for-109) with five doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 19 RBI, 18 runs scored, 12 walks and four stolen bases in 28 games. Among A.L. rookie qualifiers with a minimum of 81 plate appearances, the Cuban native finished first in homers, RBI, and slugging percentage (.532), was tied for first in doubles and triples, was second in at-bats, hits and walks, tied for second in runs scored and third in on-base percentage (.325).
In an A.L. West matchup against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 11th, the 26-year-old Cespedes snapped a 21-game homerless streak with a second-inning shot, finishing the night 2-for-4 to lead the A's past the Angels, 6-5, in Anaheim. The next night, Cespedes homered again, and also drew a walk and stole a base to back starting pitcher A.J. Griffin as the rookie pair led the Athletics past the Angels, 4-1, guaranteeing Oakland their first winning season since 2006 when they went 93-69. In a 14-inning marathon against the New York Yankees on September 22nd, Cespedes went 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, two RBI and two runs scored in an eventual 10-9 loss in the Bronx. Rounding out the month on September 30th against the Seattle Mariners, Cespedes finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle as the speedy outfielder went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored in a 5-2 victory in Oakland.
Cespedes is near the top in most offensive categories for rookies this season, currently ranking second in runs (69), hits (139), doubles (25), homers (23), RBI (82), walks (41), batting average (.290), on-base percentage (.352) and slugging percentage (.506), and he is third in games (127), at-bats (480) and triples (5).
Other rookies receiving votes included Yu Darvish (3-0, 2.21 ERA, 36.2 IP, 7 BB, 39 SO) of Texas; Cespedes' teammates A.J. Griffin (4-1, 3.09 ERA, 35.0 IP, 7 BB, 29 SO) and Jarrod Parker (3-1, 2.31 ERA, 35.0 IP, 6 BB, 27 SO); Baltimore's Manny Machado (.289, 5 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI) and Steve Johnson (2-0, 1.33 ERA, 20.1 IP, 12 BB, 22 SO); Nate Jones (1-0, 0.49 ERA, 14 G, 18.1 IP, 8 BB, 15 SO) of the White Sox; Mike Trout (.257, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 20 BB, 6 SB) of the Angels; Kansas City's Kelvin Herrera (3-1, 2 SV, 1.84 ERA, 14.2 IP, 7 BB, 11 SO); and Russ Canzler (.301, 3 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI) of the Indians.
In recognition of his American League Rookie of the Month Award, Yoenis Cespedes will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishments.