Trout, Harper named top baseball rookies

Angel, Nat are rookies of the year

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NEW YORK — Mike Trout and Bryce Harper were teammates on the Scottsdale Scorpions last fall. The outfielders arrived in the major leagues on the same April day this year, both played in the All-Star game and they won Rookie of the Year awards a half-hour apart Mon­day, the vanguard of baseball’s next generation.

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.

“It’s pretty neat,” said Trout, the son of former Minnesota minor leaguer Jeff Trout.

For the first time, players learned the voting results when they were announced on television.

“My heart was beating a little bit,” Harper said.

Trout, who turned 21 on Aug. 7, received all 28 first-place votes from the AL panel of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The Los Angeles Angels center fielder was the eighth unanimous AL pick and the first since Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria in 2008.

There could be more to come, too. Trout is among five finalists for AL MVP and is considered the chief challenger to Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera for that award, which will be announced Thursday.

Trout hit .326, second-best in the league to Cabrera’s .330, with 30 homers and 83 RBI, and he led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals. He joined Ted Williams, Mel Ott and Alex Rodriguez as the only players to hit .320 or higher with 30 or more homers in seasons they started as a 20-year-old.

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.”

Harper was the top pick in the 2010 amateur draft and batted .270 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI 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.

“Every little kid’s dream is to be a big league ballplayer or a doctor or a firefighter or whatever everybody wants to be,” Harper said. “That was my dream and I wanted to make that dream come true as quickly as possible.”

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.”

NOTES: For winning the award, Trout earned a $10,000 bonus on top of his $482,500 salary. ... Harper became the first Nationals player to win a BBWAA award since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005. ... Under a new format this year, both league’s winners are announced on the same day with the winner revealed on the MLB Network. Manager of the Year voting will be revealed Tuesday, followed by the Cy Young Awards on Wednesday and MVPs the following day.

TOP ROOKIES

Rookie of the year voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America with total points on a 5-3-1 basis. First-place votes are in parentheses:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Mike Trout (28) 140

Yoenis Cespedes 63

Yu Darvish 46

Wei-Yin Chen 2

Jarrod Parker 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Bryce Harper (16) 112

Wade Miley (12) 105

Todd Frazier (3) 45

Wilin Rosario (1) 12

Norichika Aoki 11

Yonder Alonzo 1

Matt Carpenter 1

Jordan Pachecho 1

Source: Associated Press


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