(Reuters) - Chicago White Sox slugging first baseman Jose Abreu and New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom won Rookie of the Year honors in their respective leagues in voting results announced on Monday.
Abreu, 27, was a unanimous choice for the American League award capturing all 30 first-place votes for 150 points from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
DeGrom, 26, won with 26 first-place votes of 31 cast in a decisive victory over Cincinnati Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, who received the other five top votes.
Abreu proved himself a bona fide slugger after signing as a free agent from Cuba last year, belting 36 home runs, driving in 107 runs and logging a strong .317 batting average.
“Two years ago when I was in Cuba, I wasn’t dreaming about this,” Abreu said through a translator in a conference call.
Abreu, who showed promise playing for Cuba in the World Baseball Classic, became the first rookie to rank in the top five in each Triple Crown category -- home runs, runs batted in and batting average.
“I‘m still the humble kid who came here to play. Nothing changes,” Abreu said.
It marked the second successive year a Cuban-born player won rookie honors following Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker was second in the voting with 40 points followed by New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances with 27.
DeGrom, who switched from shortstop to pitching in his junior year in college, joined the Mets starting rotation in May and went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA, striking out 144 in 140-1/3 innings.
In September, the long-haired deGrom showed his dominance by striking out the first eight batters he faced.
“I‘m just honored to receive this,” deGrom said. “Coming into this year I didn’t expect the opportunity to start, I was just thankful to be in the big leagues.”
DeGrom said he looked forward to the return of pitcher Matt Harvey, who missed 2014 with an elbow injury, and an offensive boost from the addition on Monday of outfielder Michael Cuddyer.
“I think next year is going to be exciting.”
Finishing third behind Hamilton, who stole 56 bases for the Reds, was Hawaiian Kolten Wong, whose post-season heroics for the Cardinals did not count toward the voting. The second baseman had 12 home runs, 42 RBIs and batted .249.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue/Greg Stutchbury