Josh Hamilton, left, and Yu Darvish.
The Texas Rangers pulled a rare double in the MLB monthly awards for the month of April when MLB announced that Josh Hamilton was honored as the AL Player of the Month and Japanese sensation Yu Darvish was named AL Rookie of the Month.
Hamilton is the second straight Ranger to win a Player of the Month award, following Adrian Beltre's nod for September's honor dating back to last season. Hamilton was on a tear in April with nine home runs, 25 RBIs, 64 total bases, and a .744 slugging percentage while ranking second with a .395 batting average, 20 runs, and 34 hits (tied) in 22 April games. He became just the fourth AL player since 1921 with at least nine homers, 25 RBIs, 20 runs, and 34 hits in April, joining Seattle’s Ken Griffey, Jr., New York’s Tino Martinez in 1997 and Kansas City’s Jermaine Dye in 2000. Hamilton also tied the Rangers team record for homers in April.
It was the fourth time Hamilton has received the award in his career, which is a new all-time high for Rangers, topping Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez, who each got three Player of the Month honors as Rangers.
Darvish, who doesn't really seem like a rookie, but is to the big leagues went 4-0 in April with a 2.18 ERA and was fifth in the league in strikeouts with 33 in five starts. His 10-strikeout, 8-plus inning performance against the New York Yankees was a thing of beauty. He's the third Rangers player to win the award, following Gerald Laird (2004) and Neftali Feliz (2010), who went on to win AL Rookie of the Year honors.