Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria wins AL Rookie of the Year
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was named American League Rookie of the Year on Monday in a unanimous vote by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. (View slide show)
Longoria was listed first on all 28 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city for a perfect total of 140 points. White Sox second baseman Alexei Ramirez, who hit 21 home runs (including four grand slams), finished second in the voting with 59 points, and Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (.280, 9 HR, 47 RBI, 50 SB, 98 R) was third at 26 points.
"Obviously this is where, as a baseball player, I wanted to be," Longoria said. "But if I told you two years ago I'd be in this situation, I'd be lying. It's all been a dream come true. Like I said, as a kid, it's what you dream of happening."
Longoria, a former first-round pick, started the season in Triple-A, but went on to rack up 27 homers and 85 RBIs. Longoria, 23, called up on April 12, came through in the clutch in the Rays cleanup spot, and impressed many with his defensive plays to earn his first All-Star appearance. Even though Longoria missed 30 games due to a fractured wrist, he led AL rookies in several key offensive categories.
It marks the first such award for the Rays in their 11-year history; OF Delmon Young finished second in the voting in 2007.
Longoria is the seventh AL rookie to win the award by a unanimous vote and the first since 1997, when Nomar Garciaparra completed the feat. The others were Derek Jeter, Tim Salmon, Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlton Fisk and Mark McGwire.
Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto won the NL Rookie of the Year Award, taking 31 of 32 possible first-place votes.
Rays manager Joe Maddon is also a heavy favorite to win the AL Manager of the Year Award, which will be announced Wednesday by the BBWAA, which votes on the prestigious annual awards.
Joe Smith, Times Staff Writer
(Times photo -- Brian Cassella. Click to enlarge.)