Tigers righthander Michael Fulmer won the American League Rookie of the Year award on Monday. The former Mets farmhand who was traded to the Tigers for Yoenis Cespedes in 2015 beat out Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who made a strong late-season bid for the honor.
Fulmer, 23, said he was “ecstatic” to win the award. He earned 26 first-place votes after going 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA. Beginning on May 21, he went on a two-month stretch of dominance in which he was 7-1 with a 0.83 ERA.
Sanchez, 23, received four first-place votes and mounted a strong campaign of his own. He had a slash line of .299/.376/.657 with 20 homers and 42 RBIs in 53 games in a bid to become the rare player to win the award after playing less than half a season.
Willie McCovey of the Giants won the honor under similar circumstances in 1959 when he hit .354 with 13 homers in 52 games.
“I kind of noticed the season that Gary was having,” Fulmer said. “It was definitely a historic one . . . Hopefully I get to face him quite a bit more in my future.”
The Mets chose Fulmer 44th overall in the 2011 draft. The Tigers, in search of a promising young arm in return for Cespedes, quickly targeted the righthander.
After his promotion this season, Fulmer tamed big-league hitters with the help of a changeup that he learned from Mets minor-league pitching coordinator Ron Romanick.
Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin finished third.
Seager wins in NL. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager (.308 average, 26 home runs, 72 RBIs) was a unanimous choice for National League Rookie of the Year over the Nationals’ Trea Turner and the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda.
Seager is the 17th Dodger to earn rookie honors — easily the most of any team — but he was the franchise’s first winner since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996. With AP