Zack Gelof

A's slugger Gelof wins AL Rookie of the Month for August

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Seven weeks into his MLB career, Athletics second baseman Zack Gelof is taking home some hardware.

Gelof was awarded the American League Rookie of the Month on Sunday for his efforts in August, his first complete month in the big leagues.

Gelof, who debuted July 14, batted .286/.350/.562 with eight doubles, seven home runs and 15 RBI in 27 games in August. He joined Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder James Outman in the NL as baseball’s top two rookies last month.

“It's pretty cool,” Gelof told reporters after the A’s 10-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. “It’s not something I set out to do, but I think it just shows what I’m capable of. It’s baseball, so you’ve got to do it every month. But it’s definitely cool to sit back and recognize what I did.

“But it’s not just about me -- it’s showing up to the clubhouse, and it’s about all the guys making me feel comfortable. It’s been fun.”

Gelof is the 10th player in A’s history to win Rookie of the Month since the award was established in 2001, and the first since infielder Ryon Healy in 2016. Joining Gelof and Healy on that list is Carlos Peña (2002), Bobby Crosby (2004), Joe Blanton (twice in 2005), Andrew Bailey (2009), Brett Anderson (2009), Jemile Weeks (2011), Yoenis Céspedes (2012) and Nate Freiman (2013).

A's manager Mark Kotsay shared the news with Gelof and the rest of the clubhouse shortly after Oakland completed a sweep of the Angels. The A's are 3-0 in September.

"The group was fired up," Kotsay said. "We talked about the perseverance and the grit and the determination to keep going forward. It’s been a tough season, but there are some bright spots.

"This is definitely a bright spot for us as a group and as an organization through development -- Zack being drafted by the A’s and brought through the system. To have him come here and really make an impact in his first month is a great sign for all those things."

Gelof, selected by the A's in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft, batted .304/.401/.529 with 12 homers in 69 games with the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators earlier this summer. He was called up to Oakland in mid-July and hasn't looked back.

"It’s so much fun," Gelof said of the start to his big league career. "A month from now, I don’t want to stop playing. I wish we could play year round. The ups and downs of baseball is something I love."

There have been plenty more ups than downs for the 23-year-old Gelof to start his promising career.

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