Fernandez, Myers named MLB top rookies
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Wil Myers gave the Sunshine State a sweep of the 2013 Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Awards, which were announced Monday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Fernandez, one of three finalists for the National League's Cy Young Award that will be revealed on Wednesday, was a landslide winner in the NL following a spectacular debut. The Cuban-born phenom received 26 out of a possible 30 first-place votes and accumulated 142 total points, 47 more than countryman and Los Angeles Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig.
Forced into the Marlins' season-opening rotation due to injuries, Fernandez proved to be up for the challenge by putting together an outstanding first half to earn a spot on the NL All-Star squad as Miami's sole representative. The 21-year-old was even better after the break, amassing a sensational 7-1 record with a 1.32 earned run average and 84 strikeouts over 10 starts prior to being shut down in mid-September due to an innings restriction.
Fernandez ended the year with a 2.19 ERA, second only to Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for tops in the majors, while limiting opposing hitters to an MLB-low .182 batting average. He finished with a 12-6 record on a 62-win Miami team while racking up 187 strikeouts in 172 2/3 innings of work.
The hard-throwing righty became the fourth Marlin to claim the honor in the last 11 seasons, along with Dontrelle Willis (2003), Hanley Ramirez (2006) and Chris Coghlan (2009), and only the second native Cuban to win Rookie of the Year. Tony Oliva won the AL award with the Minnesota Twins in 1964.
Puig received the four other first-place votes and tabulated 95 points, with St. Louis pitcher Shelby Miller a distant third with 12 points.
Myers became the third Ray in six seasons to win the award in the American League despite not being called up to the majors until June 18. The 22-year- old was first on 23 of the 30 ballots cast and compiled 131 points to outdistance current Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias.
The highly-touted prospect became the first AL position player to be named Rookie of the Year that participated in less than 100 games and joins present teammates Evan Longoria (2008) and Jeremy Hellickson (2011) as the only winners in Rays history.
Myers instantly made a mark upon his recall, batting .340 with seven home runs and 30 RBI over his first 42 games, and his addition played a significant role in Tampa Bay edging out Texas for one of the league's two Wild Card berths. The Rays posted a 56-38 record following Myers' promotion, the third-highest winning percentage in the AL over that stretch.
The former Kansas City farmhand led all AL rookies with 53 RBI while batting .293 with 13 homers in just 88 games. The Rays acquired Myers in December as the centerpiece of the offseason trade that sent established pitcher James Shields to the Royals.
Iglesias, who was dealt from Boston to Detroit in late July as part of a three-team swap that landed Jake Peavy with the Red Sox garnered five first- place votes and 80 points. Myers' Tampa Bay teammate, pitcher Chris Archer, wound up third after receiving one first-place nod and 35 points, with Oakland hurler Dan Straily also named atop one ballot.
11/12 02:47:59 ET