On Monday evening, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award recipients for the National League and the American League.
In the National League, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager won the award unanimously, and Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer took home the American League honor with 26 of 30 possible first-place votes.
Seager, the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft, debuted in September 2015 and flashed a bit of what he had in store for 2016, a season that ultimately turned out to be award worthy. Across 113 plate appearances in 2015, the left-handed-hitting Seager batted .337 with 13 extra-base hits, including eight doubles, one triple, and four home runs.
To build off the stellar debut month he pieced together, the 22-year-old Seager slashed .308/.365/.512 with 40 doubles and 26 long balls in 2016 over 157 games, the most games played of any Dodgers player. In addition to noteworthy skills in the batter’s box, Seager is a gifted defender. In 1,345 innings of fieldwork at short this year, Seager was involved in 67 double plays while managing a range factor of 3.55 and fielding percentage of .968.
Fulmer was promoted from Triple-A on April 29 after the 23-year-old was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round of the 2011 draft and acquired by the Tigers in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Following his promotion to the majors, Fulmer almost immediately began to make an impact on the Tigers pitching staff.
Spanning from a start on May 27 up until the middle of an outing on June 17, the right-handed Fulmer strung together a scoreless-inning streak of 33 1/3, the first streak of such length since Fernando Valenzuela’s 35 frames in 1985. The streak of scoreless innings clearly affected his overall season statistics, as Fulmer ended his rookie campaign with a 3.06 earned run average, 1.12 WHIP, and a 132:42 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
To continue awards week on Tuesday evening, the BBWAA will announce their selections of the Manager of the Year Awards live on MLB Network beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET. Jeff Banister of the Texas Rangers, Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians, and Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles serve as nominations for the award in the American League, and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers, Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs, and Dusty Baker of the Washington Nationals represent the National League.