Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was unanimously selected as the National League’s Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year on Monday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in voting which took place just before the end of the regular season.
“We want to extend our congratulations to Corey for this well-deserved award,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “Corey stepped right into a playoff caliber lineup and hit the ground running. He was a critical part of our success on both sides of the ball and is tremendously deserving of this award. I actually think he is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of and I’m proud that his name is going to be forever linked to the great Dodger rookies of the past.”
Seager is the Dodgers’ 17th Rookie of Year, the most of any MLB team. He’s the first Dodger ROY since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996, and the 21st player overall to win the award by unanimous vote. He joins Mike Piazza and Raul Mondesi as the only Dodgers ever to win the award unanimously. The 22-year-old is just the fourth NL shortstop to earn the award, joining Alvin Dark, Rafael Furcal and Hanley Ramirez, and the 18th shortstop overall to claim Rookie of the Year honors.
The 6’4″, 215 lb. Charlotte native already won a Silver Slugger, was honored with the Players Choice Award for Outstanding NL Rookie, and was recognized by both the Sporting News and Baseball America as NL and MLB Rookie of the Year, respectively.
Seager, the Dodgers’ Hank Aaron Award nominee, finished the season ranked among the NL leaders with 193 hits, 105 runs, 40 doubles, 57 multi-hit games, 71 extra-base hits, 321 total bases, a .308 batting average and a .512 slugging percentage. His 26 homers set a Dodger record for a shortstop, breaking the previous record of 22, held by Glenn Wright since 1930. According to Stats, LLC, he was just the fourth rookie in the divisional era to rank in the NL’s Top 10 in batting average and slugging percentage, joining Piazza, Dusty Baker and Albert Pujols.
Seager’s 193 hits were the most by a big-league rookie since 2001, when Pujols had 194 and Ichiro Suzuki recorded 242. He set Los Angeles single-season rookie records in hits, runs and doubles, while ranking among the all-time club rookie leaders in homers, RBI, batting average, OBP and slugging. He led all MLB rookies in games played, hits, runs, doubles, RBI, multi-hit games and walks, while ranking second in home runs.
Seager was originally selected by the Dodgers in the first round (18th overall) in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Northwest Cabarrus High School in North Carolina.
He was named to his first All-Star squad in his first full MLB campaign.
“Corey is a special talent that doesn’t come around too often,” middle infield partner and mentor Chase Utley said. “The Dodgers organization and fans are truly lucky to have him wear their uniform. He is deserving of this honor and most likely of many more to come.”
Los Angeles starting pitcher Kenta Maeda placed third in voting, as he and Seager became the first pair of Dodger teammates ever to finish in the top three in Rookie of the Year balloting. The last team to place two rookies among the top three in Rookie of the Year balloting was the 2013 Rays with Wil Myers and Chris Archer, and the last NL team to do so was the 2011 Braves with Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman.
(Jon Chapper furnished the majority of information provided in this report)