Julio Rodriguez and Michael Harris Win Rookie of the Year Awards
Julio Rodríguez and Michael Harris win Rookie of the Year Awards
PITTSBURGH — Julio Rodríguez and Michael Harris have been chosen as National League Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award winners, respectively.
Rodríguez, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ All-Star closer, became the first Pirates pitcher since Chris Popper in 2001 to win the award. Harris, a reliever for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles, won the National League’s Cy Young Award this year after going 24-8 with a 2.88 ERA.
The Pirates selected both pitchers in the first round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft and have had them since 2006, when the team lost both at a World Series.
Last week, the Associated Press, Baseball Writers’ Association of America and National League presented the award to two different pitchers.
Rodríguez was recognized for winning the closer’s job in 2012 with a 1.67 ERA and 32 saves in 51 opportunities in 61 innings pitched. He has the highest ground-ball rate (54 percent) among all pitchers.
The 24-year-old, who was the Pirates’ first pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, becomes the first Pirate to win the award since Chris Popper in 2001. Popper was also the only player in Pirates history to collect a pair of wins for a rookie (one with Arizona and one with Pittsburgh) in the same season.
As a closer, Rodríguez led the NL in saves (45), games finished (38) and games started (25), and posted the best strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.31) with his career.
A four-year starter at Stanford University, Harris won the MLB’s Rookie of the Year Award — with Pittsburgh — in 1998 after he went 6-5 with a 3.18 ERA and 21 saves in 32 chances while tying a single-season record with 10 saves.
Harris won the Cy Young Award — with Baltimore — in 2010 after going 18-8 with a 3.04 ERA in 30 games (14 starts) during