BELLINGER, JUDGE CAPTURE ROOKIE OF YEAR AWARDS
Sluggers earn every first-place vote for Rookies of the Year.
The only major question was whether it would be unanimous — and it was.
Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger are baseball’s Rookies of the Year for 2017 after their record-setting home run binges eliminated any serious competition for the honors. Judge led the American League with 52 homers, the most ever by a rookie. Bellinger hit 39 and had to settle for the National League’s rookie record.
Judge and Bellinger received every first-place vote available from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Judge became the first Yankees player to receive this award since Derek Jeter in 1996. Bellinger gave the Dodgers a record 18th Rookie of the Year winner.
Boston outfielder Andrew Benintendi finished second in the AL vote, followed by Baltimore’s Trey Mancini. St. Louis infielder Paul DeJong was the NL runner-up, with Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell third.
Judge also is a finalist for the MVP award. Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and Fred Lynn in 1975 are the only players to win the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season.
Bellinger is the second straight Dodger to win Rookie of the Year. Shortstop Corey Seager did it last year.
This is the first time both Rookie of the Year awards were unanimous since 1997, when Nomar Garciaparra of Boston and Scott Rolen of Philadelphia won.
Beltran retires: It took some time, but Carlos Beltran finally got there, winning a World Series title after 20 seasons in the majors.
Now he is leaving the Astros and baseball, retiring after a career in which he was a nine-time All-Star and 1999 Rookie of the Year. The designated hitter/outfielder, 40, made the announcement Monday, 12 days after the Astros beat the Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series. He announced his retirement in an essay written for The Players’ Tribune website.
“I realized early on that my purpose in this game was to share knowledge with younger players and to give back to the game of baseball,” he wrote. “I always wanted to do that — that, and be the best teammate I could possibly be. Over 20 years, I feel like I accomplished that. So whether we won or lost Game 7, I would have still been happy with my career. But it still feels nice to have a ring.”
Beltran hit .231 with 14 homers and 51 RBIs for Houston this season. He finishes with a .279 average, 435 homers, 1,587 RBIs and 312 steals.
Braves: Alex Anthopoulos was named general manager and John Hart was removed as team president and will assume a senior adviser role. Anthopoulos is a former Dodgers and Blue Jays executive.