Two outstanding seasons for Jose Abreu and Jacob deGrom led to each winning the American League and National League Rookie of the Year awards, respectively.
Despite down seasons for both the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets, both players had standout seasons. Abreu registered 36 home runs, tied for fourth most in the MLB, while deGrom led all Mets starters with a 2.69 ERA in 22 starts.
Over the last five years, players such as Mike Trout, Wil Myers, Bryce Harper and Buster Posey have earned the illustrious award. Needless to say, there's a good chance both of these winners will emerge as stars in the game over the next several seasons.
Here's a look at the full voting breakdown and analysis following the announcement.
|AL and NL Rookies of the Year|
|Pos.||American League (1st-Place Votes)||National League (1st-Place Votes)|
|1st||Jose Abreu (30)||Jacob deGrom (26)|
|2nd||Matt Shoemaker||Billy Hamilton (4)|
|3rd||Dellin Betances||Kolten Wong|
Abreu's honor seemed like an obvious choice after the outstanding season he put together. Though it might seem unconventional to award a 27-year-old player who played several seasons in Cuba to take the award, he certainly deserved it.
Not only was he a unanimous choice for the voters, but ESPN Stats & Info also points out how long it's been since a White Sox player has won the award:
Ozzie Guillen might be a familiar face for even recent Chicago fans, to say the least.
While playing in 145 games this season, the White Sox slugger ranked in the top five in the AL in several major categories. Here's a look at his statistics and rankings in the league, via FanGraphs.
|Jose Abreu 2014 Statistics (AL Rank)|
|.317 (5th)||36 (3rd)||107 (4th)||.581 (1st)||.964 (2nd)|
Along with all of that, Abreu also had a 5.3 WAR and was a bright spot for an otherwise hapless Chicago team. The Cuban star has a great future ahead and other young talent behind him like Carlos Rodon to help carry the torch in the years to come.
The MLB's official account also noted Abreu's case for being Rookie of the Year:
Any other season, Matt Shoemaker and Dellin Betances might have taken the award. Shoemaker finished with a 16-4 record while Betances was one of the most electric young relievers in baseball for the New York Yankees.
In the NL, it was deGrom that set himself apart with sensational numbers on an otherwise bleak Mets team. Despite New York finishing 79-83, deGrom came away with a 9-6 record and finished strong with a 1.67 ERA in September.
On a day where the Mets signed Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal, via Paul Hagen of MLB.com, the future looks promising with deGrom. Ace of MLB Stats points out just how sensational the season was for deGrom in team history:
Mark Simon of ESPN also points out how difficult it was to hit off deGrom this season:
Just behind deGrom were Billy Hamilton and Kolten Wong, who both had standout years of their own. Hamilton made his impact on the basepaths with 56 stolen bases, while Wong played a crucial role in the St. Louis Cardinals' run to the postseason.
Moving forward, both Abreu and deGrom have a chance to turn things around for their franchises with their standout play. However, Jim Bowden of ESPN is already looking to next season's potential winners:
The aforementioned Rodon, Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa might also have something to say about that if they get the call. For now, it's fun to think about what the future might hold for this prestigious award next season.
Seeing as how deGrom likely wasn't on the radar last season, any number of players have a chance to step up in 2015. The future of MLB is bright with all of these players, and it's clear they will have big shoes to fill after huge years from Abreu and deGrom.
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