Owings collects top NL rookie honors for April

D-backs shortstop impressed on offense over month to pick up award

Owings collects top NL rookie honors for April

MILWAUKEE -- After leading National League rookies in hitting through the first month of the season, D-backs shortstop Chris Owings has been named the league's Rookie of the Month for April.

Owings posted a .313 (26-for-83) batting average, also leading NL rookies with five doubles, six extra-base hits, 26 hits and 28 games. He stole four bases, which was second among NL rookies, and was was tied for second with seven runs.

"You have expectations for yourself," Owings said before his team played the Brewers in Milwaukee on Monday. "For me, it's just trying to come out and play consistent baseball day in and day out, and just playing hard, and the results show for themselves.

"They've come up the first month, but it doesn't stop here," he said. "There's a lot more baseball to be played. I'm just going to try to get better as a baseball player."

The 2009 first-round pick went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in a 5-4 loss to the Rockies on April 29, marking his seventh multihit performance of the season. Two days earlier, Owings hit his first career triple as part of another multihit effort. He reached base in all four plate appearances on April 13 against the Dodgers.

Manager Kirk Gibson knows Owings will be key if the club is to have a resurgence after a mediocre April.

"He's played great for us," Gibson said. "Not to take anything away from the award, but we've got another month going on here. Our goal is to win a lot of ballgames. If he keeps playing that way he's going to help us do that."

It's Owings' first career monthly award and the second time a D-backs hitter has been voted NL Rookie of the Month (Gerardo Parra, May 2009). Pitchers Daniel Hudson (August 2010) and Wade Miley (April 2012) have also earned the honor.

Fellow NL rookies David Hale, Tommy Kahnle, Billy Hamilton and Tony Sanchez were also recognized for their efforts this month.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. Joe DiGiovanni is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.