A Look at This Year's MLB Rookies of the Year
Major League Baseball recently announced the recipients of the American League and National League Rookie of the Year awards, and there was not much suspense for anyone who followed baseball closely this season. Anaheim Angles centerfielder Mike Trout won the AL Rookie of the Year award while the Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper won the NL Rookie of the Year. Both players were very deserving of the award, and helped improve their team when they joined the big league roster early in the year.
American League ROY – Mike Trout
Mike Trout became the youngest player ever to win the American League Rookie of the Year award when he won a unanimous vote and received the maximum 140 points. After starting the season in the minor leagues, Trout was called up to the big leagues on April 28th. As soon as he arrived on the scene for the Angles, Trout helped spark what was an anemic offense at the time.
By the end of the season, the 20 year old Trout hit .326 with 30 homeruns and 83 RBIs. He also led all of Major League Baseball with 129 runs and 49 steals. The true definition of a five tool player, Trout also had an excellent defensive season for the Anaheim Angles and really put himself on the baseball map when he made a leaping, home run denying catch in Baltimore that was played over and over on highlight reels all season long.
With his .326 batting average, Trout joined an impressive list of players including Ted Williams, Mel Ott and Alex Rodriguez as the only players to ever have a .320 batting average in a season that they started when they were 20 years old.
National League ROY – Bryce Harper
On the same day Mike Trout was called up from the minor leagues to play for the Anaheim Angles, Bryce Harper was making his major league debut for the Washington Nationals. Harper joined the big league club with a lot of expectations on his shoulders, and he delivered in his first season in the major leagues to meet those expectations.
While playing multiple positions in the outfield for the Washington Nationals, Harper hit .270 with 22 homeruns and 59 RBIs while helping lead the Nationals to the postseason for the first time since 1933. Much like Trout when he joined the Angels, the Nationals were struggling a bit offensively when Harper was called up to the big leagues. Once he arrived in Washington and was inserted into the everyday lineup, the Nationals took off in the standings and never looked back on the NL East competitors.
During the NL Rookie of the Year voting, Harper received 16 of 32 first place votes to narrowly edge out Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley. With his first full season in the majors behind him, Harper can settle into a more defined role for the Nationals next season and begin to improve upon his already impressive numbers to further meet the lofty expectations of the Washington Nationals.
About the Author: Don Phan is an avid baseball fan and recommends FansEdge for the latest in official MLB apparel for all 30 teams.