Wil Myers Wins American League Rookie of the Year Award

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Wil Myers Wins American League Rookie of the Year Award
Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Wil Myers is your 2013 American League Rookie of the Year. Again.

The news comes via Yahoo! Sports: 

The Baseball Writers' Association of America revealed their choice for the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award on Monday, marking the third time Myers has been given such an honor this offseason. Myers was already named the AL Rookie of the Year by the Sporting News and was awarded the MLB Players Choice Award on Nov. 4.    

I think it's safe to say Myers didn't expect to win the award (via MLB Network):

The 22-year-old was widely expected to pull in the BWAA award as well. He was one of three finalists for the honor, joining Rays teammate Chris Archer and Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias.

"It's just a huge honor to be considered for an award like this," Myers said when the finalists were announced, per MLB.com's Bill Chastain. "Just to be in the top three finalists for this award is just a huge honor and I'm excited to be a part of it."

Archer finished third in the balloting. He went 9-7 in his first big league season, finishing second on the team among starters behind Alex Cobb in ERA at 3.22, and his 1.13 WHIP trailed only David Price. Iglesias, who was traded to Detroit from the Boston Red Sox in July, hit .309 with three home runs and 29 RBI while establishing a reputation as one of the finest young shortstops in baseball.

Acquired from the Kansas City Royals in a deal for starter James Shields, Myers took an unorthodox path to his postseason honors. He wasn't called up to the Rays' big league roster until June 17, a move that was entirely based on Tampa Bay's desire to push back his arbitration clock for a year. By keeping Myers, who at the time was belting minor league pitching, in the minors until June, Tampa was able to help avoid the dreaded Super Two status.

But once Myers reached the majors, it was clear he should have been up all along. In 88 games, he hit .293 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI while showing solid range in right field—critical on a Rays team that prides itself on defense. He finished the season as a 2.4-win player while barely playing half the season, and helped improve a Rays offense that was already among the best in baseball. 

More critically, Myers' call up coincided with a run in the standings. The Rays were 36-33 on Myers' call-up date and were languishing in fourth place in the American League East. They went 18 games above .500 the rest of the way, making a torrid push for the second AL wild-card spot, which they earned in a one-game tiebreaker against the Texas Rangers.

Tampa Bay then defeated the Cleveland Indians in the Wild Card Round before being ousted by the soon-to-be World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Myers had only two hits in 20 postseason at-bats, striking out seven times while failing to drive in a run.

While the postseason ended in disappointment for the Rays and Myers, this latest honor is a signifier of a bright future.   

 

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