In a shortstop showdown, the Astros’ Carlos Correa edged out the Indians’ Francisco Lindor for the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year Award, as announced by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Monday.
The balloting was very close, as Correa received 17 first-place votes while Lindor received 13 of his own. Correa took the award with 124 total points to 109 for Lindor. Miguel Sano was excellent in his own right this season, leading all rookies (min. 300 PA) with a .916 OPS, but he finished in a distant third-place. He appeared in just 80 games, including 69 starts out of the DH spot. That worked against him here.
Correa was already a big-name prospect coming into the year and after playing an important role for an Astros team who improved by 16 wins and reached the playoffs, so he ultimately had the narrative edge over Lindor. This isn’t to say that he wasn’t deserving. He absolutely was. After making his major league debut in June, Correa batted .279/.345/.512 with 22 home runs, 68 RBI, and 14 stolen bases over 99 games. His .857 OPS was the best among all MLB shortstops (min. 300 PA). Not bad for a rookie. Perhaps the most impressive part of it all? He didn’t turn 21 until September.
The switch-hitting Lindor played in the same number of games as Correa and was actually a pleasant surprise offensively, batting .313/.353/.482 with 12 home runs, 51 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. By the way, his .835 OPS was second-highest (min. 300 PA) among MLB shortstops. He played much better defense than Correa and actually had a higher WAR (wins above replacement), according to Baseball Reference. However, that wasn’t enough to make up for Correa’s power numbers and his presence on a playoff team. It’s ultimately hard to nitpick. Voters had two great choices. If you include Xander Bogaerts with the Red Sox, we’re looking at a possible new shortstop renaissance here.
Correa is the Astros’ first ever winner of the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Jeff Bagwell won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1991. The Astros could add some more hardware later this week, as A.J. Hinch is a finalist for the American League Manager of the Year Award (will be announced Tuesday) and left-hander Dallas Keuchel is the favorite for the American League Cy Young Award (will be announced on Wednesday).
Complete voting results for the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year Award can be found at BBWAA.com.