Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees has won American League Rookie of the Year honors, while Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers took the award for the National League. Both players won the award unanimously, marking the first time since 1997 the winners in both leagues did that, with Nomar Garciaparra of Boston and Scott Rolen of Philadelphia winning it. Judge becomes the first New York Yankee player to receive the award since Derek Jeter in 1996. Bellinger’s win gives the Dodgers a record 18th Rookie of the Year winner and the second straight Dodger to win the award, following Corey Seager winning it last year.

Judge’s victory was a foregone conclusion after he led the American League with 52 home runs and helped the Yankees reach the postseason as a wild card. Judge is also a finalist for the AL MVP award. Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and Fred Lynn in 1975 are the only players to win the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season. Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi finished second in rookie of the year voting, followed by Baltimore Orioles slugger Trey Mancini. Judge’s AL-leading home run total broke the rookie record of 49 set by Oakland’s Mark McGwire in 1987. He ranked first in the AL in runs (128) and walks (127).

The Yankees entered this season with marginal expectations by their standards, but the prodigious power of Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez transformed them almost overnight into an exciting young team with tremendous potential. The knocks against Judge were his 208 strikeouts — only five times has a player whiffed more in one season — and extended slump after he won the Home Run Derby. But he rebounded with a huge September when New York really needed it, leading the AL in homers (15), RBIs (32), runs (29), on-base percentage (.463) and slugging percentage (.889).

The 21-year-old Bellinger broke the NL rookie record for home runs with 39 (topping Wally Berger (1930) and Frank Robinson’s (1956) 38) and finished second in the league behind only Giancarlo Stanton in homers. Bellinger led the Dodgers in RBIs (97) and runs (87) and supplied a left-handed bat in the heart of the order of a club that fell just one game short of winning the World Series. Bellinger made his big league debut in late April. By the time he turned 22 on July 13, he had 25 home runs.

Related Posts:

Tags

 
 

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment