Brewers’ Joey Ortiz was named NL Rookie of the Month for May over Paul Skenes and others

For the second straight season, the Milwaukee Brewers have relied on their youth at the big league level. In 2023, Sal Frelick, Joey Wiemer, Brice Turang and Abner Uribe all played key roles on a winning National League Central team, but none managed to win a Rookie of the Month award.

Fast forward to today and the Brewers have called up rookies Jackson Chourio, DL Hall, Bryan Hudson, Joey Ortiz, Oliver Dunn, Tobias Myers, Robert Gasser and Tyler Black already this season. After a more remarkable month, Joey Ortiz received the Rookie of the Month award.

Here at Reviewing the Brew, we recognized the efforts of Joey Ortiz by announcing him as one of their Outstanding Players last month. In 23 games and 75 plate appearances, he slashed .307/.391/.587 and walked nine times compared to 11 strikeouts. His .587 slugging percentage was made possible by 12 extra base hits, which included seven doubles and four home runs.

Several other players in the National League Central also had outstanding May months, but Joey Ortiz was selected as Rookie of the Month over them.

In Pittsburgh, Paul Skenes struck out 30 batters in 22.0 innings pitched while posting a 2.45 ERA (4 GS). Chicago’s Shota Imanaga had a 2.67 ERA in May, but before his last start in May (against the Brewers) he allowed just two earned runs in 26 innings pitched (0.69 ERA). Finally, the shortstop from St. Louis Masyn Winn led all rookies in hits last month (25).

During the month of May, Joey Ortiz finished first (minimum 20 at-bats) among rookies in runs (16), doubles (T-7), home runs (4), on-base percentage (.391 ), slugging percentage (.597), and on-base plus slugging percentage (.978).

Since 2000, seven different Milwaukee players have won Rookie of the Month. Ben Sheets won in June 2001, Scott Podsednik in August 2003, Prince Fielder in April 2006, Ryan Braun in June and July 2007, Casey McGehee in September 2009 and Keston Hiura in July 2019.

The last Brewers player to win Rookie of the Year was Devin Williams in 2020. If Ortiz can maintain this level of success, it’s not out of the question to think that he could be in serious competition for Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.