New York– Today marks the end of The New York Times’ 40th season of the Rookie of the Year voting, with the result of the final ranking of the Major League Baseball teams. For the first time, out of the pool of National League rookies, one player from each league won the award: Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Brandon Drury and Seattle Mariners infielder Jonathan Villar.
The NL Rookie of the Year race was one of the most hotly contested in years, with outfielders Jon Jay of the St. Louis Cardinals and Odubel Herrera of the Philadelphia Phillies coming closest to earning the honor.
In 2017, these two big league hopefuls were the best rookies that the Nationals organization had to offer. Defensively, they both finished near the top of their league. In fact, both Jhonny Peralta and Michael A. Taylor made the All-Star team, but in the eyes of the voters, the accolades were not about the players themselves. With the Nationals returning outfielder Bryce Harper and shortstop Trea Turner in 2018, it remains to be seen if Drury and Villar can earn their votes once again.
The National League award winners announced today were selected by a vote from the last season’s MVP finalists, who saw their seasons cut short when they were injured during the season. The awards were handed out at a press conference in New York City.
If you’re interested in some of the other winners, including “best Minor League player” and “best Player with a Dislike,” check out the complete list from the Times.
Randy Arozarena and Jonathan India were also honored this week as The New York Times Sports’ Persons of the Week.