Shocker, Shocker: Wil Myers Wins AL Rookie of the Year

By Robbie Knopf

We heard The Sporting News and the MLB Players Assosciation proclaim it before, but now it is finally official: Wil Myers is your American League Rookie of the Year. Myers lived up to the hype and then some, hitting to a .293/.354/.478 line (132 OPS+) with 23 doubles, 13 homers, and 53 RBI. He led AL rookies in doubles, RBI, OBP, and slugging percentage, and his 6 intentional walks towered over everyone else, with only one other player receiving more than one. Myers stepped into the Rays lineup and was an immediate threat, pairing his Evan Longoria-esque stance with Longoria-esque production. He went hitless in his debut, but he smacked a single in his second game and a 2-run double in his third as he took off from there. There were games when Myers looked lost, and you wondered whether he would cut it as a major league hitter, but he always found a way to adjust and start another hot streak. It was unfortunate how Myers’ season ended–2 for 20 in the playoff plus the missed catch at Fenway–but after how well he adjusted throughout the season, you know it will simply motivate him even more to get better next year.

Myers received 23 of 30 first-place votes, beating out Jose Iglesias (5) and fellow Ray Chris Archer (1). Archer received 5 second-place votes and 15 third-place votes in addition to his lone first-place vote. Archer’s first-place vote and Myers’ only third-place vote was a funny story–Chris Assenheimer of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram picked Archer first, then Dan Straily, and only then Myers. Straily was fourth, followed by J.B. Shuck, Cody Allen, Martin Perez, and David Lough. Congrats to everyone who received votes, but Rays fans are especially happy that one of their own came out on top.

Among the Gold Glove finalists, the Rays had one player each at all four infield positions. They went 0 for 4 in terms of actually winning those Gold Gloves. In this case, though, the Rays had two of three finalists, and while Iglesias made things interesting, the Rays were primed to walk away with some hardware. Myers is the Rays’ third Rookie of the Year, following Evan Longoria in 2008 and Jeremy Hellickson in 2011. There goes Myers following Longoria yet again. Between Myers and Archer, the Rays have plenty to be excited about in coming years, and only one thing could make 2013 end any better for both of them: a pair of team-friendly extensions.