(Reuters) - Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout and Washington Nationals Bryce Harper were crowned Major League Baseball’s rookies of the year on Monday.
Trout was the unanimous winner of the American League award, sweeping all 28 first place votes, while Harper won a close race for the National League award.
The 21-year-old Trout led the AL in steals (49) and runs scored (129) while batting .326 with 30 home runs and 83 RBIs.
Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was a distant second while Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish was third. Voting was conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
There could be more honors in store for Trout before the end of the week. Not only was Trout’s season one of the best ever by a rookie, the center fielder is also a candidate for the AL most valuable player, which will be announced on Thursday.
”He is playing to his potential,“ Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com. ”And when a player does that at such a young age, you want him to come out there and just continue to play baseball and let the numbers fall where they will.
”I think that’s what Mike’s challenge is going to be is consistency, the test of time.
“He has the ability to do what he’s doing this year for a long time. I think that’s what’s exciting about seeing him continue to develop.”
Harper also had a brilliant rookie campaign but the 20-year-old faced some stiff competition for the NL award from Arizona Diamondback pitcher Wade Miley who picked up 12 first-place ballots to finish a close second. Harper finished with 112 points while Miley collected 105.
A versatile talent who played all three outfield positions, Harper batted .270 with 22 home runs, 59 RBI, 56 walks and 18 stolen bases in 139 games.
“Upon joining us, Bryce’s impact on our lineup and defensive alignment was immediate and came at a great time of need,” Mike Rizzo, Nationals general manager and executive vice president of baseball operations said in a statement.
“His sustained energy and enthusiasm throughout the summer played a big part in fueling our division title.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Julian Linden