The Baseball Writers Association of America has named William Bradford Myers the third Rookie of the Year in Rays history.
Wil Myers bested all expectations to post a 2.4 WAR with a .293/.354/.478 batting line for the Rays. He entered finished the season as the favorite for the ROY award, despite playing in only 88 regular season games. Wil Myers is now the first American League rookie to win the award while playing less than 100 regular season games.
Myers received 23 of the 30 first place votes, and was nominated along side Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer, who finished third in the poll. As expected, both players had glorious hair:
#Rays @wilmyers and @ChrisArcher42 on @mlbnetwork talking AL rookie award pic.twitter.com/ch2TsQGSYD— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) November 11, 2013
Chris Archer was a mainstay in the Rays rotation, including two complete game shutouts featuring no walks and at least six strikeouts in July. He pitched through hot and cold stretches to a 3.22 ERA and 4.07 FIP with a 19.2 K%, 7.2 BB%, and totaling 1.2 WAR.
Archer: "Coming from a kid who got cut in 7th grade ... I'm honored ... and I'm thankful to the writers for even getting me this far."— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) November 11, 2013
Archer was his classy self, full of sage wisdom and very thankful for the recognition given.
Started in Triple-A. Now we are 2 of 3 finalist for MLB ROY. #manifestyourdestiny http://t.co/OzGVEbhZAU— Chris Archer (@ChrisArcher42) November 11, 2013
The third player nominated was Jose Iglesias, who was traded from Boston to Detroit in mid-season and who rocked a batting average above .300 for no discernable reason outside of luck. He's known for dramatic throws that get him into highlight reels, and his defense really is plus. Full stat line: .303/.349/.386, 3.9 BB%, 15.7 K%, 1.8 WAR
Let's check back in, how's the hair?
Chris Archer and Wil Myers hair update: Yep. pic.twitter.com/4iOf36iqW4— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) November 11, 2013
Yep, still awesome.
For a whole bunch of videos of Wil Myers clobbering home runs, click here!
Wil Myers was acquired in the James Shields trade during the winter meetings last off season, and slotted well into right field, despite being a converted catcher that had primarily played center field in the Royals farm system.
Myers's playing time was restricted during the season to stave off his major league playing time and preserve his rookie status. Promotion too early in the season may have designated Myers as a "Super 2" player and allowed him to negotiate a higher salary through arbitration a year earlier than is standard for rookies in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, as occurred with starting pitcher David Price.
Previous Rays to win Rookie of the Year are Evan Longoria (2008) and Jeremy Hellickson (2011). The only other rookie to ever play less than 100 games and win this prestigious award is Ryan Howard, who was named the NL ROY in 2005; Longoria had 122.
Full voting breakdown of Myers's landslide victory:
|Wil Myers, Rays||23||5||1||131|
|Jose Iglesias, Red Sox/Tigers||5||17||4||80|
|Chris Archer, Rays||1||5||15||35|
|Dan Straily, Athletics||1||2||4||15|
|J.B. Shuck, Angels||1||1||4|
|Cody Allen, Indians||2||2|
|Martin Perez, Rangers||2||2|
|David Lough, Royals||1||1|
Rays beat writers both voted for Myers as the first place winner, Iglesias second, and Archer third.
The lone first place vote for Chris Archer was given by Cleveland beat writer Bud Shaw, who writes about the organization that drafted Archer.
Myers, when asked for his reaction to winning the award:
"It's awesome. You know, just to be a finalist for something like this and to be able to come out and win is awesome. I can't thank my fans and my teammates enough for just supporting me everyday. It's a huge honor to win this, I'm very excited about it."
Discussing the season he had, Myers expressed concern that he wouldn't even get promoted this season due to poor play at the minor league level. Luckily, he credited a hot streak in May and June that preceded his promotion, and was thankful for the opportunity to join a playoff race.
For those who have watched Myers bat beside Evan Longoria in the lineup, you may have noticed the players have an eerily similar batting stance. Myers was asked if that was by coincidence or design: He agreed the inital setup is the same, but noted the swing itself is quite different.
Marlins pitcher and Tampa's Alonso High School product Jose Fernandez won the award for the National League. If you haven't read his story, the full tale is worth your time. Fernandez took 26 of the first place votes, with Yasiel Puig claiming the remaining four.