NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom is officially the National League's Rookie of the Month. Rookie of the Year could be next.
Major League Baseball on Tuesday named deGrom the NL's top rookie for July, which saw him go 4-1 with a 1.39 ERA, 38 strikeouts and seven walks in 32 1/3 innings. Those numbers improved his season stat line to 6-5 with a 2.77 ERA.
"It's awesome," deGrom said. "I'm honored to receive that. That's really cool that I got that."
DeGrom's July also thrust him squarely in the NL Rookie of the Year race, which now appears to be a two-player battle between him and Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton. Though the typically humble, deGrom admitted he didn't even know he was eligible for Rookie of the Year honors until recently, he hopes to give the award his best shot.
The Mets plan to limit deGrom to 185 innings this season, which should give him around eight more starts to improve his numbers. Most top ROY candidates, including Jose Abreu of the White Sox and George Springer of the Astros, play in the American League.
"I don't even know what to say," deGrom said of winning Rookie of the Month. "It makes [potentially winning Rookie of the Year] a little more real."