NEW YORK — Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was a unanimous winner of the American League Rookie of the Year award, while New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom took home the award in the National League.
“I don’t have any words to describe this moment,” Abreu said through a translator on the MLB Network telecast Monday. “I consider myself a good hitter, and I guess I’ve proven it.”
One year after defecting from Cuba, the 27-year-old Abreu led MLB with a .581 slugging percentage, finished sixth in batting (.317), tied for fourth in home runs (36) and fifth in RBIs (107).
Abreu received all 30 first place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Los Angeles Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker was second with 40 points, followed by New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances (27), Houston pitcher Collin McHugh (21) and Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (16), who was hurt for most of the season’s second half.
In the NL, deGrom received 26 of 30 first-place votes, while speedy Cincinnati outfielder Billy Hamilton finished second with four first-place votes.
DeGrom made his MLB debut against the Yankees on May 15, a month before his 26th birthday, and hit a single in the third inning to end an 0-for-64 start to the season at the plate for New York’s pitchers, the worst slide to open a season in major league history.
“Even coming into this year, I didn’t know what to expect,” said deGrom, who started the season in Triple-A. “It all worked out.”
DeGrom went 0-4 with a 4.39 ERA in his first seven starts, then shut out Miami with seven scoreless innings on June 21. He went on to win nine of his last 11 decisions and finished 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA.
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