Houston Astros right fielder George Springer has been voted American League Rookie of the Month for May.
Springer batted .294 (30-for-102) with four doubles, one triple, 10 homers, 25 RBI, 22 runs scored and 13 walks in 26 games to claim his first monthly award. He is the first Astro to win Rookie of the Month honors since Hunter Pence in May 2007, when the Club was still competing in the National League. George's outstanding month at the plate placed him at the top of a host of offensive categories (minimum 84 plate appearances) for the period, finishing first on the Junior Circuit in runs scored, homers, RBI, walks, slugging percentage (.647), extra-base hits (15) and total bases (66); placing second in at-bats, hits and on-base percentage (.385); and finishing third in batting average. Springer was also second in the A.L. with a .357 batting average on balls put in play. His 10 homers tied him for third all-time in Baseball history for homers in May by a rookie, with Mark McGwire (15 HR in 1987) the last rookie to club 10-or-more home runs during the month. Springer finished one homer shy of tying the Astros franchise record for home runs in May (Jimmy Wynn, 11 HR in 1969).
On May 8th, the right-handed-hitting Springer launched the first home run of his career as Houston topped the Detroit Tigers, 6-2, at Comerica Park. Springer also walked and scored a pair of runs in the contest. The 24-year-old displayed drama in Houston's Lone Star State showdown with the Texas Rangers on May 14th, launching a two-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Astros a 5- 4 lead, an advantage they would hold in their win at Minute Maid Park. On May 24th, the Connecticut native went 2-for-5 with two homers and five RBI to guide the visiting Astros to a 9-4 triumph over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Springer began the scoring in the first with a two-run shot and later connected on another two-run homer as part of a five-run Houston fifth inning in the win. On May 29th, the University of Connecticut product hit his seventh home run over a seven-game stretch in a 3-1 edging of the Baltimore Orioles in Houston. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 11th overall pick by Houston in the 2011 Draft is only the second rookie in Major League history to hit seven homers over a seven-game span, joining Rudy York, who did it with Detroit from August 22-27, 1937. The last Astro overall to have such a stretch was Morgan Ensberg in 2006 (7 HR in 6 G).
Other rookies receiving votes included the A.L. Pitcher of the Month Masahiro Tanaka (5-1, 1.88 ERA, 42 SO) of the New York Yankees; infielder Xander Bogaerts (.327, 2 HR, 8 RBI) of the Boston Red Sox; and reliever Jake Petricka (0.64 ERA in 14.0 IP over 12 G) of the Chicago White Sox.
In recognition of his American League Rookie of the Month Award, George Springer will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.