New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – As expected, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels handily won the American League Rookie of the Year honor while Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals emerged as the best National League neophyte after close voting.
Trout garnered all 28 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, beating finalists Yoenis Cespedes and Yu Darvish for the award.
At 21 years and 58 days at the end of the season, Trout is the youngest winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Harper, who is 10 months younger than Trout, earned the distinction of being the youngest winner of the award this year.
“Mike Trout is unbelievable,” Harper said. “He’s one of the best players in baseball right now, if not the best.”
“Both of us had the same intentions coming into the league; just do what we were capable of,” Trout said of Harper. “We both got the opportunity to play, and just pushing each other to be the best is the way to do it.”
Trout is the 18th player to win the Rookie of the Year unanimously while Harper narrowly edged Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley by seven points, 112-105, the fourth-closest margin in NL voting history.
Called up April 28, Trout hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs, and led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals. He finished second in the AL in batting average (.326), first in steals (49) and runs (129), third in on-base percentage (.399) and third in slugging (.564).
Aside from the AL Rookie of the Year trophy, Trout also has a chance to win the Most Valuable Player award against Detroit Tigers slugger and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera.
“It would just top it off,” Trout said of winning the MVP. “Coming into the year and coming into every year, my goal is to be the best player and to make the most impact as a player on the field.”
Harper, for his part, hit a respectable .270 with 22 home runs and 59 RBIs. At 19, Harper’s 22 homers were the second most by a teenager, behind Red Sox’s Tony Conigliario’s 24 in 1964.
Harper also led the Nationals in runs scored (98) and triples (nine), while being named the Rookie of the Month for May and September.
“Upon joining us, Bryce’s impact on our lineup and defensive alignment was immediate and came at a great time of need,” said Mike Rizzo, Nationals executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager, in a statement.