09/04/2003 3:15 PM ET
Montreal's Vladimir Guerrero and Chicago's Mark Prior named NL Player and Pitcher of the Month
Vladimir Guerrero of the Montreal Expos, who hit .349 with 10 home runs and 25 RBI, and Mark Prior of the Chicago Cubs, who was 5-0 with a 0.69 ERA, were named National League Pepsi Player and Pitcher of the Month for August, respectively.
Prior won all five of his starts, pitched 39.0 innings with two complete games and struck out 35 batters. He gave up only 21 hits, four walks, and three earned runs as he led all Major League starters in ERA. Prior, who was the second overall pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, was selected earlier this season to his first NL All-Star Team in only his second Major League season.
Guerrero was 37-for-106 in 28 games with a slugging percentage of .726 and an on-base percentage of .420. He hit eight doubles, one triple and scored 21 runs. His 10 home runs were tied with Philadelphia's Jim Thome for most in the month. On August 21, he hit his 226th career home run, passing Andre Dawson for first on the Expos' all-time list. This is the 27-year-old outfielder's fifth Pepsi Player of the Month Award.
Other players nominated were: Atlanta's Gary Sheffield (.353, 8 HR, league-leading 27 RBI); Pittsburgh's Reggie Sanders (.354, 8 HR, 23 RBI); and Colorado's Todd Helton (league-leading .385 average, 5 HR, 21 RBI) and Jay Payton (.340, 9 HR, 23 RBI).
Eric Gagne of the Dodgers, who led the NL with 11 saves in August while compiling a 1-0 record and 0.52 ERA was second in the pitchers' voting. Also receiving votes were Montreal's Javier Vazquez (4-1, 1.15 ERA) and Livan Hernandez (4-1, 1.34 ERA) and Carlos Zambrano (3-1, 1.18 ERA) of the Cubs.
Guerrero and Prior will each receive a specially designed trophy for being named National League Pepsi Player and Pitcher of the Month.