Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger Unanimously Win Rookie of the Year Awards

204649 ONEG Tony Kubek had a superb rookie season with the Yankees
Kristopher Love | 14 November, 2017, 02:40

All 30 Baseball Writers Association of America voters placed the Yankees right fielder first on their ballot, making him the ninth such AL rookie to do so and 22nd overall.

Though both Judge and Bellinger struck out at prodigious rates in 2017 - and each set records for whiffs in a single postseason, with Bellinger (29) topping the record Judge (27) had set earlier in October - both also collected huge hits in the playoffs, with Judge's Yankees advancing via the wild card to the American League Championship Series and Bellinger's Dodgers earning their first World Series berth since 1988.

As he established the MLB rookie record for homers in a season, surpassing Mark McGwire's 49 in 1987, seven of Judge's home runs had an exit velocity of 117 miles per hour or better, according to MLB Statcast.

The Yankees slugger, and former Fresno State baseball star, was a unanimous choice for the honor, as was Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger in the National League voting.

The 25-year-old did battle through a lengthy slump following the All-Star break - in which he broke the major league record for consecutive games with a strikeout.

Now the question is whether Judge can also take home the AL MVP, which will be announced Thursday. Of course, he has some tough competition with Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve in what many deem a two-player race. Last season, Corey Seager received the award. Bellinger was a surprise call-up in late April, but he provided an immediate jolt to the Dodgers' lineup, ultimately leading the team with 39 homers and 97 RBI while hitting.267/.352/.581 over 132 games. He's considered a shoo-in to be named American League Rookie of the Year.

Paul DeJong finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting, with Josh Bell third and Rhys Hoskins fourth.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi and Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini were the other finalists in the AL.