Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and Fred Lynn in 1975 are the only players to win the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season.The Yankees entered this season with marginal expectations by their standards, but the prodigious power of Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez transformed them almost overnight into an exciting young team with tremendous potential.
Judge’s 495-foot shot on June 11 was the longest home run in the major leagues this season, according to Statcast. Although he struck out 208 times in the regular season and 27 more in the postseason, the 25-year-old outfielder is one of a handful of reasons why the Yankees suddenly seem to have one of the brightest futures of any team in baseball.New York came within a victory of the World Series this year, losing to Houston in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.
Bellinger’s team made it to that final step, but Los Angeles fell to the Astros in a seven-game World Series.
Bellinger is the second straight Dodgers player to win Rookie of the Year. Shortstop Corey Seager did it last year.
Bellinger made his big league debut in late April. By the time he turned 22 on July 13, he had 25 home runs. The 6-foot-4 first baseman is an appropriate counterpart to the powerful Judge. They even hit from opposite sides of the plate: Judge is a righty and Bellinger swings left-handed.
This is the first time both Rookie of the Year awards were unanimous since 1997, when Nomar Garciaparra of Boston and Scott Rolen of Philadelphia won.