Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels was named the American League Rookie of the Year for the 2012 season. It was unanimous and Trout received all 28 first place votes. The 20 year old had a season for the ages. Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish were the other two finalists.
In the National League, the Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper took home the hardware over finalists Wade Miley and Todd Frazier. Harper was only the second teenager ever to win the award in the NL, the first was Dwight Gooden of the Mets in 1984.
The announcement of the results from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America were shown live on MLB Network.
Original Post 11:00 AM
Today I’ll preview the Rookie of the Year Awards, which will be announced later this afternoon. The winners are voted for by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The Angels’ Mike Trout had arguably one of the best rookie seasons in history and there’s nobody a close second in the American League. And, if not for Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, we’d also be talking MVP.
Trout is the rare combination of power, speed and energy – a five-tool player at 21, drawing comparisons to Mickey Mantle, Rickey Henderson and Ken Griffey Jr. It will be interesting to see how he deals with the weights of repeating and comparison.
Former teammate Dan Haren perhaps said it best: “I’d play with that energy, too, if I was 21 and the best player in baseball. I’d be bouncing around everywhere, having a great time.’’
Opponents talk about his passion and skills, and his staggering numbers support the words. Trout hit .326 (four points behind Cabrera) with .399 on-base and .564 slugging percentages and a .963 OPS.
He also led the Major Leagues in runs scored (129) and steals (49).
Trout was also productive on the defensive end when it came to saving runs, reminding Angels’ fans of former center fielder Jim Edmonds.
Making his season all the more remarkable is he didn’t come up until April 28, missing the first month because of a respiratory ailment in spring training which forced him to open in the minor leagues.
While the AL voting will be a landslide, things are closer and more interesting in the National League, where the candidates include the popular Bryce Harper from Washington, Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier and Arizona left-hander Wade Miley.
Harper was one of the most hyped rookies in history (on the cover of Sports Illustrated at 16), and to his credit lived up to the billing. He’s also the combination of power, speed and hustle.
Because of injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth, Harper became a cog in the Nationals’ lineup ahead of schedule.
Frazier also surged in importance to the Reds because of an injury to Joey Votto.
The numerical arguments are basically even between Frazier and Harper:
* Bryce Harper: .270 average, .340 on-base percentage, .477 slugging percentage, 22 home runs, 59 RBIs, 18 stolen bases in 139 games.
* Todd Frazier: .273 average, .331 on-base percentage, .498 slugging percentage, 19 home runs, 67 RBIs, 3 SB in 128 games.
It is extremely difficult to compare position players to pitchers, but Miley made a compelling argument with his stats:
* Wade Miley: 16-11, 3.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 37 walks, 144 strikeouts in 194 2/3 innings over 32 appearances (29 starts).
It’s interesting that Miley threw close to 200 innings while Harper’s teammate, Stephen Strasburg was shut down, a decision that might have kept Washington from reaching the NLCS. You never know.