Mike Trout and the Most Dominant Rookie of the Year Award Winners of All-Time
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Behind his 30 home runs, 83 RBIs, 49 stolen bases and a .326 batting average, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels has officially been awarded the 2012 American League Rookie of the Year award.
Was it ever in doubt?
After sweeping the board in Rookie of the Year voting, one can't help but ask the question: Which Rookie of the Year award winners have had the most dominant seasons of all-time?
Let's take a look.
Note: All statistics are via Baseball Reference and selections are listed chronologically.
Frank Robinson (1956)
Robinson is the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues.
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Less than 10 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and won the first Rookie of the Year award in 1947, Frank Robinson was dominating the league upon entry.
Robinson took all of the first-place votes for the National League ROY in 1956, batting .290 with 38 home runs and 83 RBI. His 38 home runs were the third most in the league behind Mickey Mantle's 52 and Duke Snider's 43.
He scored the second most runs in the league (122), again behind Mantle and his 132, and ranked sixth in slugging percentage (.558), OPS (.936) and total bases (319).
Robinson's illustrious Hall of Fame career was off to a sizzling start.
Orlando Cepeda (1958)
The Puerto-Rican born Cepeda won a World Series title with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967.
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Orlando Cepeda won the 1958 National League Rookie of the Year award with the San Francisco Giants, the team with which he spent over eight seasons of his Hall of Fame career.
Cepeda batted .312 with 25 home runs, 96 RBIs and an NL-leading 38 doubles. The 11-time All-Star also ranked fifth in hits (188) and fourth in total bases (309) on his way to receiving 21 of 24 first-place votes.
Carlton Fisk (1972)
Fisk in 1988 with the Chicago White Sox
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In 1972, as a catcher for the Boston Red Sox, Carlton Fisk took home the American League Rookie of the Year award with all 24 first-place votes.
Despite playing at a position not normally known for its offensive output, Fisk batted .293 with 22 home runs and 61 RBI. He also ranked 10th in the league in wins above replacement (7.0), fifth in slugging percentage (.538) and third in triples (nine).
Fred Lynn (1975)
Lynn in the 2011 All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game
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In 1975, Fred Lynn became the first player to ever win the Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player awards in the same season.
Lynn and fellow rookie teammate Jim Rice led the Red Sox to the World Series before losing in seven games to the 108-win Cincinnati Reds.
Lynn batted .331, the fourth highest in the league, with 21 home runs and 105 RBI. He led the league in slugging percentage (.556) and doubles (47) and was second in extra-base hits (75).
He would have received all the first-place votes if not for Rice, who batted .309 with 22 home runs and 102 RBI.
Dwight Gooden (1984)
Gooden was one of the most feared pitchers during the mid to late 1980s.
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Dwight "Doc" Gooden's streak of memorable seasons began in 1984 with his National League Rookie of the Year award.
In his inaugural season, Gooden went 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA and a staggering 276 strikeouts in 218 innings pitched.
He would go on to win the NL Cy Young award in 1985 and win a World Series championship with the New York Mets in 1986.
Mark McGwire (1987)
McGwire in 1989 with the Oakland Athletics
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Mark McGwire set the tone for his career in 1987 when he won the AL Rookie of the Year award.
Big Mac batted .289 with 49 home runs and 118 RBI on his way to wrapping up all 28 first-place votes. His 49 home runs broke the rookie single-season record and led the league that year along with Andre Dawson. His .618 slugging percentage was also tops in the majors.
McGwire made the All-Star team and finished sixth in MVP voting.
Mike Piazza (1993)
Piazza is one of the most decorated catchers in history.
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In 1993, Mike Piazza became the seventh catcher to win the Rookie of the Year award.
Piazza, who is regarded as one of the best-hitting catchers of all time, batted .318 with 35 home runs and 112 RBI.
Then playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Piazza received all 28 first-place votes and ranked ninth among major league players in wins above replacement at 6.8.
He was placed on his first of 12 All-Star teams and won his first of 10 Silver Slugger awards.
Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki (2001)
Pujols and Ichiro at the 2003 All-Star Game
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Ichiro, who began playing professionally in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball, batted .350, collected 242 hits and stole 56 bases. He won a Gold Glove and became just the second player to win both the Rookie of the Year and the MVP awards.
Pujols batted .329, hit 37 home runs and drove in 130 runs. He finished fourth in the NL MVP voting to Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Luis Gonzalez, all of who hit .325 or better and smacked 73, 64 and 57 home runs, respectively.
Craig Kimbrel (2011)
Kimbrel has become one of the most reliable closers in the game.
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In order for a relief pitcher to win the Rookie of the Year award, he must establish himself as one of the most dominant closers in the league.
Craig Kimbrel did just that by recording 46 saves in 2011 and breaking the rookie record previously held my Neftali Feliz, who saved 40 games in 2010.
Kimbrel's 2.10 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 77 innings earned him all 32 first-place votes in the National League.
The 24-year-old got even better in 2012, recording four less saves but lowering his ERA over a full point to 1.01 in 62.2 innings.
Mike Trout, your 2012 AL Rookie of the Year
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These 10 Rookie of the Year award winners, along with the newly-crowned Mike Trout, exemplify what it means to be the best first-year player in the league.
Obviously, each winner is deserving of the honor, but when a rookie player can blow his fellow freshmen out of the water, it is especially remarkable.
Where would Mike Trout land on your list of the most dominant Rookie of the Year award winners ever?
Leave your answers in the comments section below.