Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole has been voted the National League Rookie of the Month for September. This is his first career monthly award and the first by a Pirates rookie since third baseman Pedro Alvarez won in September 2010.
In five starts during the month of September, Cole went 4-0, tying for the N.L. lead in wins, while ranking first among all Major League rookie pitchers as he helped the Pirates claim their first Postseason berth since 1992. The "Cole Train" led qualifying rookie pitchers with a 1.69 ERA (six earned runs in 32.0 innings pitched) and fanned a Major League rookie-best 39 during the month while walking 10. His 32.0 innings of work led all N.L. rookies while his .212 opponents' batting average ranked second behind St. Louis Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha (.198).
In his final regular season outing, the Newport Beach, California native went 6.0 innings to earn his 10th victory of the season as the Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs by an 8-2 tally at Wrigley Field. With the victory, Cole became the first Pirates rookie to reach double-digit wins since Josh Fogg (12-12) in 2002. Cole allowed just two runs in the contest while striking out six, giving him 34 strikeouts in 26.0 innings over his last four starts of the season - the most by a Pirates rookie in a four-start span since Jose DeLeon fanned 38 during a four-start stretch in August 1983. Cole struck out a career high 12 batters in 6.0 innings of work in his September 19th start against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park, allowing just four hits while walking three to earn the win. The 12-strikeout performance marked only the second time since 1900 that a Bucs pitcher had fanned a dozen-or-more batters in a game in which he pitched 6.0-or-fewer innings (Oliver Perez struck out 12 Rangers in 6.0 innings on June 10, 2004). The performance came on the heels of back-to-back 7.0-inning victorious outings for the 23-year-old. On September 14th, Cole allowed just one run while striking out seven in a 2-1 win over the visiting Cubs, and on September 9th, he held the Texas Rangers scoreless while fanning nine in a 1-0 victory at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The first overall selection of the 2011 Draft earned a no-decision in his September 3rd outing at Milwaukee despite allowing just two earned runs in 6.0 innings of work. The start was part of a run of eight consecutive quality starts by the youngster dating back August 16th.
Other rookies receiving votes included Matt Adams (.307, 18 R, 27 H, 2 2B, 8 HR, 15 RBI, .602 SLG, .337 OBP) of the Cardinals; Miami's Christian Yelich (.330, 17 R, 31 H, 5 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .447 SLG, .429 OBP) and Jose Fernandez (2-0, 0.64 ERA, 14 SO, 14.0 IP); Milwaukee's Scooter Gennett (.291, 11 R, 25 H, 6 2B, HR, 7 RBI, .315 OBP); Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton (.389, 9 R, 7 H, 13 SB, .500 SLG, .450 OBP); and Arizona's A.J. Pollock (.358, 10 R, 24 H, .478 SLG, .442 OBP).
The National League Rookie of the Month for September 2013, Gerrit Cole, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.