Despite flashy first season, Dodgers' Puig edged out by Fernandez for NL Rookie of the Year.
By MICHAEL MARTINEZ FS West
Yasiel Puig's flashy first season with the
Dodgers wasn't nearly enough to sway voters for the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year award in the National League. In fact, he didn't come as close to winning as many thought he would.
"I'm very happy that he (Jose Fernandez) won the (NL) Rookie of the Year award," Puig said. "He worked really hard to achieve this and he pitched extremely well with Miami and he deserved this just as we deserved to be nominated. I am happy for him, that a Cuban won. I'm happy his grandmother arrived (to the U.S.) and I hope he enjoys his time with his grandmother and enjoys the prize he won today."
Fernandez picked up 26 of 30 first place votes and had 142 total points. Puig was named on four first-place ballots and 25 second-place ballots for 95 points.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller was third, just ahead of Dodgers left-hander
Hyun-Jin Ryu. Although Miller and Ryu each finished with 10 points, Miller was third in the final voting because one of his votes was for second. All of Ryu's votes were for third.
Two voters from each NL city vote take part in the voting.
Tampa Bay Rays rookie Wil Myers won the top rookie award in the American League. Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck was fifth.
Although his play was sometimes erratic and unpredictable, Puig's impact on the Dodgers' drive to the NL West title was unmistakable. They were 23-32 and stuck in last place when he arrived from the minors but went 69-42 the rest of the season.
With 19 home runs and 42 RBI in 104 games, Puig made his mark quickly. His 44 hits in June were the second most for a player in his first month in the majors, surpassed only by Joe DiMaggio's 48 in May 1936 for the Yankees. Puig was also the first player since DiMaggio with 70 or more hits and 10 or more homers in his first 50 games.
For the season, Puig led all major league rookies in batting average (.319, minimum 300 at-bats) and runs (66) and was third in homers. For good measure, he also had an unbelievable .925 OPS (on-base plug slugging).
He had his missteps, making occasional bad throws from right field and annoying opponents with his bat flips and over-the-top flare, but he became a favorite at Dodger Stadium, a player whose jersey became a big seller among fans.
It's not fair to compare pitchers and hitters, but the award goes to the best rookie, not the most valuable rookie. Fernandez clearly measures up. As proof, consider that he's also a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award.
Fernandez led the majors in opponents' batting average (.182), was fourth in WHIP (walks and hits per inning) at 0.98 and averaged 9.75 strikeouts per nine innings, second in the National League.