NEW YORK — Jose Fernandez arrived early. Wil Myers made it big after a blockbuster trade.
Neither one needed much time to create a splash, and together they brought both Rookie of the Year awards back to Florida.
Fernandez stood out in a very deep National League class this season, and the precocious Miami Marlins pitcher received 26 of 30 first-place votes from a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel in results announced Monday.
Myers won the American League prize after the Tampa Bay slugger put up impressive offensive numbers in barely half a season. The right fielder was chosen first on 23 of 30 ballots, beating out Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias and Rays teammate Chris Archer.
“Honestly, when I was called up that didn’t even cross my mind. As the season went on I could see I would have a chance,” Myers said on a conference call from his North Carolina home. “To be able to win is just a huge honor.”
The two announcements marked the beginning of awards week in baseball. NL and AL Manager of the Year will be revealed today, with the Cy Young winners Wednesday and MVPs on Thursday.
Myers became the third Tampa Bay player in six years to be selected Rookie of the Year, joining Jeremy Hellickson (2011) and Evan Longoria (2008). Seated next to each other, Myers and Archer smiled and shook hands when the winner was revealed on MLB Network.
The 22-year-old Myers batted .293 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs in only 88 games after he was called up from the minors June 18. He immediately added power to the middle of the Rays’ lineup, helping them reach the playoffs as a wild card.
Fernandez easily topped runner-up Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers as Cuban players ran 1-2 in the NL race. The only previous Rookie of the Year winners from Cuba came in the AL: Jose Canseco in 1986 and Tony Oliva in 1964.
“It means a lot just to be compared to those guys,” Fernandez said. “I’m not sure I was even born when those guys were playing. But for sure I heard the names before and they did a lot of good things in baseball. … All the kids in Cuba play baseball.”
Puig received the other four first-place votes and amassed 95 points to 142 for Fernandez, who made the All-Star team at age 20. He went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts for a last-place club that finished 62-100.
Red sox’s Cherington
voted best executive
ORLANDO, Fla. — Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has been voted The Sporting News baseball executive of the year following the team’s worst-to-first turnaround.
The award, based on a vote of 31 major league executives, was announced Monday night at the annual GM meetings. Voting ended before the postseason, when the Red Sox went on to win their third World Series title in 10 years and first since Cherington succeeded Theo Epstein as general manager in October 2011.