Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez and Atlanta’s Michael Harris II, a pair of 21-year-old center fielders, were named Rookies of the Year on Monday.
Rodriguez hit .284 with 28 homers, 75 RBIs and 25 stolen bases to help the Mariners reach the postseason for the first time since 2001. He earned American League honors by receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes and a second by 148 points from a panel of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
“I went through some shaky times early in the year, but I was able to stick with myself, trust myself,” said Rodriguez, who made the Mariners’ opening-day roster and batted .205 in in April
“All the doubts I’ve had throughout the year,” he said, “I know will serve me well throughout my career.”
Harris hit .297 with 19 homers, 64 RBIs and 20 steals after debuting on May 28. He was voted the National League award, earning 22 firsts and eight seconds for 134 points from a different BBWAA panel.
Baltimore catcher Adley Rutschman was second in the AL with 68 points, taking the other first, 18 seconds and nine thirds.
Cleveland left fielder Steven Kwan was third with 10 seconds and 14 thirds for 44 points. Kansas City infielder Bobby Witt Jr. had seven runs, and Houston shortstop Jeremy Peña finished fifth with two runs.
Voting was done before the postseason; Peña was voted MVP of the AL World Series and Championship Series.
Atlanta pitcher Spencer Strider was second with the other eight first-place votes from the NL side and 21 seconds for 103 points. Cardinals utility man Brendan Donovan finished third with 22 third-place votes and 22 points.
Rodriguez, the only rookie in this year’s All-Star Game, became the fifth Seattle player to win the honor after first baseman Alvin Davis in 1984, right-handed reliever Kazuhiro Sasaki in 2000, outfielder righty Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 (when he was also). voted MVP) and center fielder Kyle Lewis in 2020.
Rodriguez is excited about a planned offseason parade in his hometown in the Dominican Republic.
Harris is the seventh Atlanta player to win the award, joining catcher/infielder Earl Williams in 1971, third baseman Bob Horner in 1978, outfielder/first baseman David Justice in 1990, shortstop Rafael Fucal in 2000, to reliever Craig Kimbrel in 2011 and outfielder Ronald Kimbrel. Acuña Jr. in 2018.
Rodriguez and the Mariners agreed in August to a $209.3 million, 12-year contract through next season that would be worth $469.6 million over 17 years if he wins two MVP awards.
Report from The Associated Press.
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