AFL and Rookie of the Year success
I’m back in Arizona, watching the final night game here at Scottsdale Stadium, and started thinking about alumni from this league and how they fare during awards season. So I did some digging…
While one was unanimous and one was close, it really shouldn’t have surprised anyone that Mike Trout and Bryce Harper were this year’s Rookie of the Year Award winners.
It also shouldn’t shock anyone that both are Arizona Fall League alumni. For six years in a row now, at least one of the Rookies of the Year played in the AFL previously.
The Trout-Harper perfecta isn’t even that unusual. In five of the last seven seasons, starting with Huston Street and Ryan Howard’s ROY Awards in 2005, both winners cut their teeth here. The other dynamic duos:
Dustin Pedroia and Ryan Braun, 2007
Evan Longoria and Geovany Soto, 2008
Andrew Bailey and Chris Coghlan, 2009
Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, 2012
Trout and Harper have something in common with Street and Howard. In both cases, the Rookie of the Year tandems both played in the AFL the year prior to winning the top rookie honor. Not only that, in both instances, the award winners were AFL teammates. In 2004, Street and Howard were Phoenix Desert Dogs. Last year, Trout and Harper played in the same Scottsdale Scorpions outfield.
There have now been 24 Rookies of the Year who once called the Arizona Fall League home.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at Cy Young Award winners.
In case you missed them, here are two more AFL team reports:
The Yankees report focuses on Mark Montgomery. Their video report takes a look at Montgomery, Slade Heathcott and Dellin Betances:
Gary Brown is the focus of the Giants report. In the video report, Brown, Joe Panik and Chris Dominguez are featured.
Finally, Stars of the Day for Monday and Tuesday:
Monday: We’ll go with Kevin Siegrist of the Cardinals, for his four-inning, one run performance. The lefty gave up four hits, walked one and struck out eight. He’s now 10th in ERA (2.37) and second in strikeouts (27).
Tuesday: The aforementioned Slade Heathcott gets the nod after going 4-for-5, including his first homer of the fall. He drove in two and scored a run. Heathcott is now fifth in the league in batting average (.371) and second in OPS (1.084).