American League Rookies of the Year—1990s
When this time of year comes along and postseason awards are handed out, it's always fun to look back at the previous decade and remember who won the award previously. What's most fun is to recognize some of the names as flops, or as stars in the making. Here is a list of AL Rookies of the Year in the 1990s:
1999-Carlos Beltran, Kansas City Royals
It seems like a lifetime ago that Carlos Beltran played for the Royals, because he really became a star briefly with the Astros and later with the Mets. But the switch-hitting outfielder came up in 1999 and won the American League Rookie of the Year by batting .293 with 22 homers and 108 runs batted in. Beltran also had 27 doubles, 7 triples, 27 stolen bases, and had a career high in hits with 194.
1998-Ben Grieve, Oakland Athletics
Outfielder Ben Grieve wound up being somewhat of a flop, but he began his career with a bang, winning the AL Rookie of the Year in 1998 by hitting .288 with 18 homers and 89 RBI. Grieve also had career highs in doubles (41) and runs scored (94).
1997-Nomar Garciaparra, Boston Red Sox
In his prime, Garciaparra was somewhat of a folk hero in Boston, and was one of the game's best hitters. Right off the bat in his first season, Nomar won the Rookie of the Year Award with a .306 batting average, 209 hits, 122 runs scored, 30 homers, 44 doubles, 11 triples and 98 RBI. He even had a career high of 22 stolen bases. Garciaparra battled injuries later in his career before moving on to play for the Cubs and currently the Dodgers.
1996-Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
One of the game's brightest stars for the last decade, Derek Jeter hit the ground running in his big league career, winning the AL Rookie of the Year in 1996. That season, as he helped the Yankees win it all, Jeter batted .314 with 25 doubles, 10 homers, 78 RBI and an on base average of .370.
1995-Marty Cordova, Minnesota Twins
In a very close vote over the Angels' Garret Anderson, Minnesota's Marty Cordova won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1995. Cordova hit .277 with 24 home runs, 84 runs batted in, adding 27 doubles and 20 stolen bases with a slugging percentage of .486.
1994-Bob Hamelin, Kansas City Royals
Talk about a guy who has faded into oblivion. Royals' first baseman Bob Hamelin won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in the strike-shortened 1994 season by hitting .282 with 24 home runs and 65 RBI in just 101 games. Hamelin had 25 doubles and a slugging percentage of .599. But he only played four more seasons, finishing with a career batting average of .246.
1993-Tim Salmon, California Angels
Outfielder Tim Salmon played his whole career with the Angels, helping them win the World Series in 2002. But in 1993, Salmon began his career by winning the AL Rookie of the Year. He hit .283 with 31 home runs and 95 RBI, 35 doubles, 93 runs scored and a slugging percentage of .536.
1992-Pat Listach, Milwaukee Brewers
In a fairly close vote over Cleveland's Kenny Lofton, Milwaukee's Pat Listach won the AL Rookie of the Year honors in 1992, hitting .290 with 47 RBI, 168 hits and 54 stolen bases. He also had a career high on base percentage of .352, but only lasted a few more years in the majors, while Lofton is still currently an active player at 40 years of age.
1991-Chuck Knoblauch, Minnesota Twins
Minnesota second baseman Chuck Knoblauch was one of the reasons the Twins had a resurgence in 1991, and he won the AL Rookie of the Year that season. Knoblauch hit .281 with 50 RBI, 24 doubles, 6 triples and 25 stolen bases. He also had an on base percentage of .351. Knoblauch also played for the Yankees and Royals before retiring in 2002.
1990-Sandy Alomar, Jr.-Cleveland Indians
Catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr. led a resurgence in Cleveland, as he was among a core of young players like Albert Belle, Carlos Baerga and Kenny Lofton that helped the Tribe reach the World Series twice in the nineties. In 1990, Alomar won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by batting .290 with 9 homers, 66 RBI, and 26 doubles. Alomar also had a .991 fielding percentage at the game's toughest position.
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