The Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Monday that Tigers starter Michael Fulmer is the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year. He’s the first Tiger to win the award since Justin Verlander in 2006. He’s the first starting pitcher to win the award in the AL since Jeremy Hellickson in 2011 with the Rays.
Fulmer, 23, went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA and a 132/42 K/BB ratio over 159 innings for the Tigers. He and Verlander anchored an otherwise uninspiring starting rotation.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez impressed in the final two months of the season, putting up a 1.032 OPS with 20 homers in 53 games. However, voters likely thought that Fulmer’s effort over a full season was more impressive than Sanchez’s over one-third of a season.
Fulmer was named first in 26 of 30 ballots with Sanchez taking the other four. Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin finished in third place followed by Astros reliever Chris Devenski, Mariners reliever Edwin Diaz, Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara, and White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa won the AL ROY last year.