MLB Names Shota Imanaga NL Rookie of April

Rookie Phenom Imanaga's Pitching Brilliance Makes MLB History

by Zain ul Abedin
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MLB Names Shota Imanaga NL Rookie of April
© Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Chicago Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga broke onto the Major League Baseball scene, in so doing declaring his first dominant feat by bagging the coveted NL Rookie of the Month award for April. Major League Baseball signed Imanaga's sensational debut on Friday night after he showed the world a mind-numbing 0.98 ERA attached to a perfect 4-0 record during the campaign's first month.

In only 27.2 innings, he allowed three earned runs, while only three walks were allowed to the 28 batters he struck out. Imanaga proved an even bigger power in May. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing only one walk and totaling seven strikeouts, in a 1-0 victory over the New York Mets, to earn his sixth starting nod of the season.

Such stellar performances have propelled Imanaga into elite company, as noted by MLB stat aficionado Sarah Langs. He joins the illustrious ranks of legendary pitchers like Fernando Valenzuela, becoming only the second pitcher in the last 70 years to boast an ERA of 0.80 or lower in his first six career starts.

Imanaga's Historic Pitching Prowess

Moreover, Imanaga's stellar statistics place him among an exclusive group of pitchers in the live-ball era. With an ERA of 1.00 or less across his first six career starts and a minimum of 30 innings pitched, he joins the ranks of luminaries like Zach Duke, etching his name in baseball lore.

Notably, his remarkable 0.78 ERA stands as the lowest recorded by a pitcher through a minimum of 30 innings pitched in six starts since Dave Ferris achieved a staggering 0.50 ERA in 1945. He is very much anticipated as he faces the San Diego Padres next week at the iconic Wrigley Field.

Yet, while those baseball enthusiasts wait for his next spectacular performance, Imanaga continues to rise in a way that is alluring fan and pundit attention alike marking him as a standout star in the constellation of talent that is MLB.

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