Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Sports

Fabulous infielders named top rookies

NEW YORK — Big expectations followed Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa from the moment each was drafted a few years ago.

It didn't take long for both to deliver.

Bryant was a unanimous pick as NL rookie of the year on Monday, and Correa took the American League prize in a close vote by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Correa said from his home in Puerto Rico, where he said thousands of proud supporters were waiting to celebrate with him. "It really means a lot not only for them, but me as well."

The top pick in the 2012 amateur draft, Correa, 21, recalled how some questioned whether he warranted that selection. By June, he was a starting shortstop in the majors and leading the young Astros toward the playoffs. He wound up batting .279 with a .345 on-base percentage and a .512 slugging percentage.

Bryant, chosen second overall by the Cubs in 2013, made his big-league debut April 17. The third baseman became an All-Star on a team that also reached the postseason. He hit .275 with a .369 on-base percentage and a .488 slugging percentage and led all rookies with 6.5 wins above replacement, via FanGraphs.

"I think we're in very similar situations in that we're surrounded by a lot of young guys," Bryant said. "I think the only expectations that really matter are the ones you put on yourself. I definitely exceeded my own expectations."

GREATS HONORED: Baseball legends Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra will be honored with the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. They are among 17 people who will be recognized by President Barack Obama at a Nov. 24 ceremony.

MARINERS-RANGERS TRADE: Seattle acquired outfielder Leonys Martin and right-handed reliever Anthony Bass for right-handed reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, outfielder James Jones and a player to be named.

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