Ramirez voted August's top rookie
Second baseman lives up to skipper's expectations with honor
When White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen saw the ball jump off Alexei Ramirez's bat in the Cactus League this spring, he knew Chicago fans were about to be entertained by a special rookie.
The White Sox second baseman has certainly lived up to Spring Training advance notice, and that point was driven home again on Monday when Ramirez was selected as Gillette's Rookie of the Month for August in the American League. Ramirez will receive a Rookie of the Month trophy and Gillette will make a $5,000 donation to a charitable organization in Ramirez's name.
Ramirez was selected over AL nominees Glen Perkins and Denard Span of the Twins.
In the fifth month of the regular season, Ramirez showed no signs of slowing down. He hit .308 in August with six homers and 22 RBIs. Ramirez had a four-hit game against Baltimore on Aug. 25.
Tall and thin at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Ramirez has shown an ability to generate plenty of power. The six homers in August qualify as Exhibit A.
"The bat speed is unbelievable," Guillen said of Ramirez. "You see guys on top of the plate like that, and all of a sudden, people think they can get by him. His bat speed is one of the best I've seen in a while, and that's how he creates so much power."
After observing Ramirez this year, White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin marvels at the rookie's fundamentals at the plate.
"If you look at the mechanics of his swing, and I've looked at it, he's in the zone so long," Quentin said. "He has a fundamentally sound swing, and that's why you see him do well. He's an aggressive hitter and he attacks the zone."
Thanks largely to Ramirez's contributions, the White Sox are involved in a spirited battle with the Twins for the AL Central title.
"This kid, you see in Spring Training in Tucson how good he is because the ball is flying all over the place," Guillen said.
Ramirez had some stiff competition for the August rookie award. Perkins went 4-0 in August with a 3.31 ERA. The left-hander threw eight shutout innings in two of his five starts during the month.
Span has been a catalyst for the Minnesota outfield in the aftermath of Torii Hunter's departure via free agency. Span hit .292 in August with three homers, 23 RBIs, 35 hits and 20 runs scored.
The Rookie of the Month balloting was an all-Chicago affair in August, as Cubs catcher Geovany Soto captured the award in the National League. Soto beat out nominees Chris Perez of the Cardinals, Jeff Samardzija of the Cubs and Ian Stewart of the Rockies.
The online fan voting at mlb.com/gillette represented 20 percent of the overall vote, with the remaining votes coming from team baseball writers and club broadcasters. Voters taking part in the monthly award process are automatically registered for a chance to go to one game during the World Series this October.
Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.