Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager lived up to all the hype this year and then some, as he was unanimously named the 2016 National League’s Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“I want to congratulate Corey on being recognized as the National League’s Rookie of the Year by the BBWAA," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "He is everything that is good about our game. I look forward to watching him continue to grow and help lead the Dodgers to a championship.”
Seager is the Dodgers’ 17th Rookie of Year – the most of any MLB team – and first since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996, and the 21st player overall to win the award by unanimous vote (third Dodger, also: Mike Piazza, 1993, Raul Mondesi, 1994).
The 22-year-old is just the fourth NL shortstop to earn the award, joining Alvin Dark, Rafael Furcal, and Hanley Ramirez, and the 18th shortstop overall to garner Rookie of the Year honors.
Seager, who is also a finalist for the National League Most Valuable Player Award, already won a Silver Slugger, was honored with the Players Choice Award for Outstanding NL Rookie and was recognized by both the Sporting News (NL) and Baseball America (MLB) as the publications’ Rookie of the Year.
"Corey stepped right into a playoff caliber lineup and hit the ground running," said Dodgers General Manager Andrew Friedman. "He was a critical part of our success on both sides of the ball and is tremendously deserving of this award. I actually think he is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of and I’m proud that his name is going to be forever linked to the great Dodger rookies of the past.”
Seager, the Dodgers’ Hank Aaron Award nominee, finished the season ranked among the NL leaders in hits (193, 2nd), runs (105, 5th), doubles (40, 7th), multi-hit games (57, T-2nd), extra-base hits (71, 7th), total bases (321, 4th), batting average (.308, 7th) and slugging percentage (.512, 10th). His 26 homers established a Dodger record for a shortstop, breaking the previous record of 22, held by Glenn Wright (1930).
According to Stats, LLC, Seager was just the fourth rookie in the divisional era (since 1969) to rank in the NL’s Top 10 in batting average and slugging percentage, joining Dusty Baker (1972, ATL), Mike Piazza (1993, LA) and Albert Pujols (2001, STL).
“Corey is a special talent that doesn't come around too often," said Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley. "The Dodgers organization and fans are truly lucky to have him wear their uniform. He is deserving of this honor and most likely many more to come.”
Seager’s 193 hits were the most by a big-league rookie since 2001, when Albert Pujols had 194 hits and Ichiro Suzuki knocked 242. He set Los Angeles (since 1958) single-season rookie records in hits, runs and doubles, while ranking among the all-time club rookie leaders in homers (26, T-2nd), RBI (78, 6th), batting average (2nd), on-base percentage (.370, 2nd) and slugging percentage (3rd). He led Major League rookies in games played, hits, runs, doubles, RBI (T-1st), multi-hit games (57) and walks (54), while ranking among the second in home runs.
“To win Rookie of the Year and be in the MVP race as 22-year-old rookie speaks to the year Corey had," said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. "He's only scratching the surface, and has a chance to be one of the best players in the game, and he's already pretty close!”
Seager was named to the National League All-Star team in his first full big-league campaign and was originally selected by the Dodgers in the first round (18th overall) in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Northwest Cabarrus High School in North Carolina.
Los Angeles right-hander Kenta Maeda placed third in voting, as he and Seager became the first pair of Dodger teammates ever to finish in the top three in Rookie of the Year balloting. The last team to place two rookies among the top three in Rookie of the Year balloting was the 2013 Rays (Wil Myers and Chris Archer) and the last NL team to do so was the 2011 Braves (Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman).
The complete BBWAA voting results are below:
Player, Club 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Corey Seager, Dodgers 30 150
Trea Turner, Nationals 11 9 42
Kenta Maeda, Dodgers 11 4 37
Trevor Story, Rockies 7 3 24
Aledmys Diaz, Cardinals 1 11 14
Jon Gray, Rockies 1 1
Steven Matz, Mets 1 1
Seung Hwan Oh, Cardinals 1 1
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services