UNDATED (AP) — The Detroit Tigers’ Michael Fulmer won the AL Rookie of the Year award by a wide margin, and Corey Seager won the NL honor unanimously.
Seager and Fulmer were announced as the winners Monday night, when votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America were made public. Seager’s victory was almost a foregone conclusion after he hit .308 with 26 home runs and 72 RBIs this year for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fulmer, on the other hand, had to hold off a late challenge from New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit 20 home runs in only 53 games.
Fulmer’s season-long contributions for Detroit won out. The right-hander went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 26 starts for the Tigers. He ended up receiving 26 of 30 first-place votes from the BBWAA, outdistancing Sanchez by a total of 142 points to 91.
Cleveland outfielder Tyler Naquin finished third in the AL race.
Seager received the maximum 150 points in the NL vote, followed by Washington outfielder Trea Turner (42) and Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda (37).
Seager is the 17th Dodgers player to earn Rookie of the Year honors — easily the most of any team — but the franchise hadn’t had a winner since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996.
The Dodgers, of course, had the first Rookie of the Year when Jackie Robinson won in 1947. They also had four winners in a row from 1979-82 and five in a row from 1992-96.
Seager, a first-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2012, was the second player in a row to win NL Rookie of the Year unanimously. Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs did it last year.
Seager joins a list of Dodgers Rookie of the Year winners that includes luminaries like Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and Mike Piazza (1993).
Fulmer is the fifth Tigers player to win the award, joining Justin Verlander (2006), Lou Whitaker (1978), Mark Fidrych (1976) and Harvey Kuenn (1953).
Detroit acquired Fulmer in 2015 from the Mets in the trade that sent Yoenis Cespedes to New York. Fulmer made his big league debut this April and lifted the Tigers with a sensational stretch leading up to the All-Star break. From May 21 through July 6, he went 7-1 with a 0.63 ERA.
Sanchez made his own bid with his torrid hitting down the stretch, but that wasn’t enough to close the gap on Fulmer.