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Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger win 2017 Rookie of the Year Awards

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As expected, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger won the Rookie of the Year Awards unanimously in their respective leagues, as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Judge, 25, hit .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs, 114 RBI, and 128 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. He led the American League in home runs, runs scored, and walks (127). Judge made the AL All-Star team during the summer and just took home a Silver Slugger Award. He’s a major contender for the AL MVP Award as well.

Judge is the first Yankee to win the Rookie of the Year Award since Derek Jeter in 1996.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi finished in second place with 23 second-place votes and six third-place votes. Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini finished third with five second-place votes and 16 third-place votes. Other players receiving votes included the Athletics’ Matt Olson, the Astros’ Yuli Gurriel, and the Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery.

Bellinger, 22, hit .267/.352/.581 with 39 home runs, 97 RBI, and 87 runs scored in 548 plate appearances. He didn’t lead the league in any categories, but he also didn’t debut until April 25.

Dodger rookies have won the award in back-to-back years. Shortstop Corey Seager took home the honor in 2016. Prior to that, the last team to have back-to-back ROY Award winners were the 2004-05 Athletics with Bobby Crosby and Huston Street. The Dodgers, of course, have kind of made the ROY their thing as their players won the award five years running from 1992-96: Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo, and Todd Hollandsworth.

Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong finished second in balloting with 15 second-place votes and 11 third-place votes. Pirates first baseman Josh Bell finished third with 10 second-place votes and two third-place votes. Others receiving votes included the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, the Rockies’ German Marquez and Kyle Freeland, the Padres’ Manuel Margot, the Reds’ Luis Castillo, and the Cubs’ Ian Happ.

The 2017 Rookie of the Year Awards mark the first time both winners won the award unanimously since 1997 (Scott Rolen, Nomar Garciaparra). It also happened in 1993 (Mike Piazza, Tim Salmon), and in 1987 (Benito Santiago, Mark McGwire).

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.