MLB: Mets’ Alonso, Astros’ Álvarez named Rookies of the Year
NEW YORK (AP) — Young sluggers known for their prodigious power, Pete Alonso and Yordan Álvarez knocked the Rookie of the Year voting out of the park.
In a rarity for the major league home run leader, Alonso didn’t land the biggest blow.
Alonso, a star first baseman with the New York Mets, got 29 of 30 first-place votes for NL Rookie of the Year. Braves right-hander Mike Soroka got the other first-place vote and finished second in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America revealed Monday night.
“To just win the award, doesn’t matter if it’s unanimous or not,” Alonso said. “It’s still such a blessing.”
Álvarez, a hulking designated hitter from the Houston Astros, earned all 30 first-place votes to become the 24th unanimous selection since the award was introduced in 1949.
“I was really not expecting it,” Álvarez said through a translator.
The 24-year-old Alonso led the majors with 53 homers, one better than Yankees slugger Aaron Judge’s rookie record from 2017. “Polar Bear” Pete became the face of baseball in Flushing, beloved for his power, personality and philanthropy. He’s the sixth Met to win the award and first since teammate Jacob deGrom in 2014.
Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was third in NL balloting. The only voter to place Soroka ahead of Alonso was Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. Alonso was the only NL player named on every ballot.
Álvarez, a 22-year-old from Cuba, played 87 games after debuting in June, fewest by any position player to win AL Rookie of the Year. He hit 27 homers, batted .313, drove in 78 and had a 1.067 OPS for the pennant-winning Astros. He struggled at times in the postseason, but that was after voting had concluded.
“My whole family was telling me I would be the winner of the award,” Álvarez said. “And once I was selected as the winner, I was very excited.”
He’s the third Houston player to win, following teammate Carlos Correa in 2015 and Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell in 1991.