Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez has been voted National League Rookie of the Month for the month of July.
In five starts last month, Fernandez went 3-1 with a Major League rookie-best 40 strikeouts while posting a 2.06 ERA (eight earned runs in 35.0 innings pitched). The right-hander had the lowest ERA among qualifying N.L. rookie pitchers (minimum: 27.0 IP) and was tied for the League's rookie lead in wins while ranking second in innings pitched. Fernandez ranked fifth among all N.L. pitchers in strikeouts and opponent's batting average (.174) last month while his ERA was tied for fifth overall.
On July 1st, the 21-year-old set a career-best with an 8.0-inning performance, holding the visiting San Diego Padres scoreless and allowing just three baserunners - two hits and one walk - en route to a 4-0 win. Fernandez reached doubledigit strikeouts for the second time in his short career, fanning 10 San Diego batters in the victory. On July 13th, the Cubanborn hurler allowed just one run over 6.0 innings in a 2-1 win against the visiting Washington Nationals. Fernandez, who was Miami's 2013 All-Star representative, earned a win in his first post-All-Star break outing, holding the Colorado Rockies to two runs on five hits in 7.0 innings of work in a 4-2 victory at Coors Field. He capped his stellar month with an 8.0-inning, 13-strikeout gem on July 28th in a 3-2 win over the N.L. Central Division-leading Pittsburgh Pirates. Following the strong back-to-back outings, Fernandez earned his first career N.L. Player of the Week citation (for the week ending July 28th), an honor he shared with fellow Marlins pitcher Steve Cishek. The first round selection (14th overall) in the 2011 Draft currently ranks second among all N.L. pitchers with a .190 opponents' batting average while his 2.54 ERA ranks fifth. This is his first career monthly award.
Other rookies receiving votes included Fernandez's Miami teammate Adeiny Hechavarria (.324, 33 H, 5 2B, 5 RBI, .349 OBP); Juan Lagares (.353, HR, 13 RBI, 7 2B, .529 SLG, .408 OBP) and Zack Wheeler (3-0, 2.73 ERA, 23 SO, 29.2 IP) ofthe New York Mets; Junior Lake (.310, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 2B, .466 SLG) of the Chicago Cubs; Milwaukee's Wily Peralta (2-2, 2.13 ERA, 33 SO, 38.0 INN); and Paco Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 SV, 11 SO, 8.1 INN) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The National League Rookie of the Month for July 2013, Jose Fernandez, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.