This has certainly been a special year for rookies in the National League, and Giants catcher Buster Posey took his turn having a breakout party in July.
The former first-round Draft pick was named the National League Player of the Month for July, sharing the honors with Phillies ace Roy Halladay, who earned the Pitcher of the Month Award.
Posey, the first rookie to win Player of the Month honors since Ryan Braun did so in 2007, put on an impressive hitting clinic in July. The 23-year-old compiled a .417 average while tallying 24 RBIs and 43 hits.
He also crafted one of the longest hitting streaks in the Majors this year and the longest in the NL, collecting a hit in 21 straight games from July 4-29. With the maturity of a veteran, Posey deflected the attention of the streak and instead wanted to direct his focus to the team's efforts.
"I had fun with it," Posey said after the streak ended. "I concentrated on winning ballgames as much as possible, but I guess, in a way, it's kind of nice that the attention will go back to that instead of the streak."
Posey also clubbed seven homers in July, and put up the first multi-homer game of his career in a win over the Brewers on July 7.
As good as the young Posey was at the plate, the veteran Halladay continued schooling hitters from the mound.
Continuing an impressive campaign with the Phillies, Halladay went 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA in July, with two complete-game efforts.
But perhaps what was more impressive is the fact that those nine-inning outings came against first-place clubs, Atlanta and Cincinnati.
The veteran right-hander picked up his 10th win of the season against the Braves, the team his club is chasing in the NL East. In his next start, he tossed nine shutout innings against the Reds but didn't factor in the decision. His team came out on top by winning the game, 1-0, in 11 innings.
Halladay has a 2.17 ERA, good for second in the Majors, his 13 wins on the season are tied for fourth and he boasts an astounding eight complete games, but it's safe to say his worth to the Phillies can't be measured in numbers. His efforts leading the staff have helped Philadelphia close what was a seven-game deficit in the division to two.
"He is a horse," manager Charlie Manuel said during Halladay's stellar month. "The pitches he can throw, where he takes you in a game, all of that. I feel, especially, like after we scored some runs, the crowd really got into it. There was a lot of energy going around there. Roy is good. He's going to win a lot of games for us."
Bailey Stephens is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.