HOUSTON, TX - Major League Baseball announced this afternoon that Houston Astros starting pitcher Collin McHugh has been named the American League Rookie of the Month for September.
McHugh is just the fifth Astros player ever to win a Rookie of the Month Award, and the second this season, joining OF George Springer (May 2014), OF Hunter Pence (May 2007), RHP Kirk Saarloos (July 2002) and RHP Roy Oswalt (August 2001). Pence, Saarloos and Oswalt all won NL Rookie of the Month awards. 2014 marks the first time the Astros have had multiple Rookie of the Month Award winners in a single season.
McHugh won all four of his starts in September, finishing the month with a 4-0 record and a 1.59 ERA (5ER/28.1IP), 25 strikeouts and just one walk. He led all Major League rookies in ERA, opponents' average (.150, 15x100), WHIP (0.56) and strikeout to walk ratio (25.00), while ranking tied for first in wins.
McHugh's 1.59 ERA in September marked the third-lowest in Astros history for a rookie during the month, behind RHP Mark Lemongello (1.29 ERA in 1977) and RHP Ken Forsch (1.24 ERA in 1971). His strikeout to walk ratio of 25.00 was the highest produced by any Astros pitcher during a single month in club history (min. 28IP). RHP Hal Brown held the previous record with a 20.00 mark set in August of 1963 (20SO/1BB).
On the year, McHugh made a strong case for AL Rookie of the Year consideration. The right-hander led all Major League rookies with a 2.73 ERA (min. 150IP) while ranking second among MLB rookies in wins above replacement (4.2), behind only Jose Abreu (5.5). McHugh's ERA was the second-lowest recorded by an Astros rookie in club history (Forsch, 2.53 ERA in 1971).
McHugh also led all Major League rookies in opponents' batting average (.208, min. 150IP) this season, while ranking second among AL rookies in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.14), third in strikeouts (157) and tied for fourth in wins (11). He closed out the year on a seven-game winning streak, becoming the first Houston pitcher to do so in a single season since LHP Andy Pettitte in 2005.