Trout, Harper win ROY honors
The 21-year-old Trout was a unanimous pick as the youngest AL rookie winner, and the 20-year-old Harper edged Arizona pitcher Wade Miley 112 points to 105 to become the second-youngest winner of the NL honor.
Trout, who turned 21 on Aug. 7, received all 28 first-place votes from the AL panel of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
He hit .326, second-best in the league to Cabrera’s .330, with 30 homers and 83 RBIs, and he led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals.
Trout spent some time in the majors last year but still retained his rookie status. He began this season in the minors and made his first big league appearance this year on April 28 – the day of Harper’s major league debut.
Trout was on a flight from Salt Lake City to Cleveland when he saw on Twitter that Harper was being called up the same day.
Harper turned 20 on Oct. 16 and has been hyped for years. When he was just 16, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline ”CHOSEN ONE.”
”He’s been put on the spotlight since he was 15 years old,” Trout said.
The Washington Nationals outfielder got 16 of 32 first-place votes from the NL panel. Miley was second with 12 first-place votes, followed by Cincinnati slugger Todd Frazier with three firsts and 45 points. Harper appeared on every ballot, and Bill Center of U-T San Diego was the only voter who didn’t include Miley.
Harper was the top pick in the 2010 amateur draft and batted .270 with 22 home runs and 59 RBIs as Washington brought postseason play to the nation’s capital for the first time since 1933. Only Tony Conigliaro (24) hit more home runs as a teenager.
At 20 years, 27 days on Monday, he was 24 days older than New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden when he won the NL award in 1984.
”This game is unbelievable. I love it with everything I’ve got,” Harper said, ”and I’m going to play every single day like it’s my last.”
And the admiration of Harper and Trout is mutual, especially after their time together last year with Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League, for the game’s premier prospects.
”He’s one of the best players in baseball, if not the best right now,” Harper said. ”He’s pretty impressive every day he plays.”
For now, each has a rookie award. In the future, they may earn MVPs on the same day.
”We play the game the right way,” Trout said. ”We’re always running out balls. He’s always hustling, trying to make that big play.” Noli Cruz