Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper have won the AL and NL Rookie of the Year. These rookie awards are now officially known as the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award.
Trout was a no-brainer as he won the award unaminously.
Although Trout didn’t join the Angels until the end of April, he hit the ground running – literally. Trout hit .326 with 30 homeruns and 83 RBI. He led the AL in stolen bases (49), runs scored (129) and OPS + (171). Trout is the first rookie to hit 30 HR and steal 30 bases in a season. He was also sensational in centerfield.
It is quite possible that Trout could win the AL MVP. If he does then he would only be the third rookie to win the AL Rookie of the Year and the MVP in the same season. The others were Fred Lynn in 1975 and Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. The only thing standing between Trout and the AL MVP is Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera.
As for Harper, he becomes the second youngest NL Rookie of the Year. The only younger NL Rookie of the Year was Dwight Gooden who won it with the New York Mets in 1984. Interestingly, both Harper and Gooden were managed by Davey Johnson.
Harper hit .270 with 22 homeruns and 59 RBI with NL East Champion Nats. He narrowly beat out Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley for NL Rookie honors. Miley went 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA and struck out 144 batters while walking only 37 with the D’Backs.
The then teenaged Harper was raw but capable of spectacular feats such as when he stole home after being plunked by Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. He also reminded me of Secretariat one Sunday afternoon last June at Fenway.
Barring injury, the best is yet to come for both Trout and Harper.