Ready for a shock? Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge were both named Rookie of the Year for their respective leagues on Monday in a unanimous vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America. The last time both league’s Rookie of the Year were a unanimous choice was 1997 when Scott Rolen and Nomar Garciaparra both took the honor.
Cody Bellinger’s rookie campaign for Dave Roberts and the Los Angeles Dodgers was, in a word, electric. Despite being just old enough to drink at season’s beginning, the calm and quiet Bellinger delivered a performance that stands out even in the illustrious history of his team. Batting .267 with 39 homers and 97 RBI while splitting time at two different positions is remarkable for any player, even more so for a kid.
The Dodgers may have fallen short in the Fall Classic against Houston, but they never even would have been there had it not been for Bellinger’s contributions. He is LA’s second-straight Rookie of the Year winner behind Corey Seager last year. St. Louis’ Paul Dejong was the runner-up and Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell came in third.
Aaron Judge’s first full season for the New York Yankees was nothing short of wowing. It saw him break the Yankee record for home runs by a rookie..before the All-Star Game. Though he tailored off majorly from July until September, the 25-year-old recomposed himself and delivered a monster final month that helped propel the Bombers to the Wild Card.
The behemoth of a right fielder finished with a .284 AVG, 114 RBI and an AL leading 52 home runs, a new American League rookie record. Boston’s Andrew Benintendi came in second while Baltimore’s Trey Mancini placed third.
Judge is a finalist for MVP later this week as well and though I don’t think he should win that, nothing can take away from the amazing season that we saw from the humble giant. All Rise.
Both of these guys are remarkable young players that have a chance to be superstars for a long time to come. Check back with us tomorrow night for the unveiling of Manager of the Year!