Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sunshine State has MLB's top rookies

Kudos to Rays' Myers, Marlins' Fernandez

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NEW YORK -- Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins and Wil Myers of the Tampa Bay Rays were selected baseball's Rookies of the Year on Monday.

Fernandez stood out in a very deep National League class, and the pitcher received 26 of 30 first-place votes from a Baseball Writers' Association of America panel. His debut season was so superb that he's one of three finalists for the NL Cy Young Award, with the winner to be announced Wednesday.

Myers took home the American League prize after putting up impressive offensive numbers in barely half a season. The right fielder was chosen first on 23 of 30 ballots, beating out Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias and Rays teammate Chris Archer.

Myers became the third Tampa Bay player in six years to be selected Rookie of the Year, joining Jeremy Hellickson (2011) and Evan Longoria (2008).

"It's awesome," Myers said in an interview on MLB Network. "It's a huge honour to win this. I'm very excited about it."

Fernandez easily topped runner-up Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The right-hander was the fourth Marlins player in 11 years to win, following Chris Coghlan (2009), Hanley Ramirez (2006) and Dontrelle Willis (2003).

After the Marlins dumped nearly all of their high-priced stars last winter, Fernandez was a rare bright spot in Miami's 62-100 season. He made the All-Star team at age 20 and went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 172 2-3 innings.

The 22-year-old Myers batted .293 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs in only 88 games after he was called up from the minors June 18. He immediately added much-needed power to the middle of the Rays' lineup, helping them reach the playoffs as an AL wild-card.

Myers was rated one of baseball's best hitting prospects when he was traded from Kansas City to Tampa Bay last December in a seven-player deal that sent pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals.

The Rays were 36-33 before Myers arrived this season and went 56-38 the rest of the way. They won a tiebreaker at Texas for the final AL playoff berth and beat Cleveland in the wild-card game before getting eliminated by eventual World Series champion Boston in the division series.

Myers finished with 131 points in the balloting to 80 for Iglesias, traded from the Boston Red Sox to Detroit Tigers just before the deadline in late July.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 12, 2013 C4

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