Ex-Bend Elk Brian Barden named NL Rookie of the Month

Former Bend Elks shorstop Brian Barden of Oregon State was named National League Rookie of the Month for April. Barden starred for Bend in 2000.

Barden had an outstanding month of April, batting .385 in 21 games, displaying his trademark versatility by playing third base, second and shortstop. He had a .641 slugging percentage, which led all NL rookies, and was second with an on-base percentage of .432.

Barden hit three home runs for the Cardinals during April and collected seven runs batted in.

“I thought my rookie status had worn off after a couple call-ups,” Barden told MLB.com after learning of the honor. “But I guess it still counts. It’s kind of cool.”

On the year, he’s batting .300, with a double and three home runs and seven RBI (as of May 9, 2009). His club, St. Louis, currently leads the NL Central.

Barden is with his second professional organization. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2002 MLB First-Year Player Draft by Arizona and made his Major League debut with the Diamondbacks in 2007. The Cardinals picked him up shortly after his debut with the Diamondbacks.

Barden, who resides in Tucson, Arizona, helped lead Team USA to a bronze at the Beijing Olympics. While there, he played in eight games, batting .265 with a home run and five RBI.