The first pair of BBWA awards have been handed out, with Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez and Rays outfielder Wil Myers taking home Rookie of the Year honors.
Fernandez (12-6, 2.19 ERA) was voted first on 26 of the 30 ballots cast, and second on each of the remaining four. He is the first Cuban-born player to win the award in the National League. The only other Cuban-born Rookie of the Year was right fielder Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins in 1964.
Another Cuban-born player, Dodgers Yasiel Puig, finished runner up in the voting after batting .319 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs in a truncated season due to his not-until-June call up. Cardinals starter Shelby Miller finished third.
Fernandez’s 2.19 ERA was second best in the NL behind only Clayton Kershaw’s ridiculous 1.83 number. Fernandez had the best winning percentage (.667), opponents’ batting average against (.182) and strikeouts (187) of all rookie pitchers in 2013. He is now the fourth Marlin to win the award, joining Dontrelle Willis 2003, Hanley Ramirez (2006) and Chris Coghlan (2009).
Over in the American League, Myers (.293 BA, 13 home runs, 53 RBIs) became the third member of the Tampa Bay Rays to be tabbed the league’s best rookie, joining Evan Longoria (2008) and Jeremy Hellickson (2011). He was voted first on 23 of the 30 ballots, second on five and third on one. Shortstop Jose Iglesias, who split time with the Red Sox and Tigers, finished runner up. Rays starter Chris Archer finished third.
Myers led all AL rookies in RBIs (53), doubles (23), extra base hits (36), on-base percentage (.354) and slugging percentage (.478). He was tied for second in total bases (160). And all despite playing in just 88 games.
Minor humble brag: if you listened to episode 2 of the podcast, I did pick both Fernandez and Myers as my Rookies of the Year. Excuse me while I brush this little bit of dirt off my shoulders.