American League Rookies of the Year—2000s
Well, one thing we know about the Rookie of the Year Award-a player cannot win it more than once. With the announcement recently that Boston's Dustin Pedroia has won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2007, we take a look back at previous winners in the American League by year this decade:
2007-Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia played 31 games in 2006, but was not eligible to win the Rookie of the Year Award until 2007, when he played second base full-time with Boston. Pedroia was sensational, batting .317 with 8 homers, 50 RBI, 39 doubles and an on-base percentage of .380. In the field, he committed only six errors for a fielding percentage of .990. Then, even though it doesn't count in this voting, Pedroia hit .283 with 2 homers and 10 RBI in the postseason in helping the Red Sox win the World Series.
2006-Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
Right handed starter Justin Verlander came out of nowhere in 2006 to help lead the Tigers to the AL Championship and win the AL Rookie of the Year award. He won 17 games against 9 losses, with a 3.63 ERA and 124 strikeouts.
2005-Huston Street, Oakland Athletics
As Oakland's new closer, Huston Street won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2005 by saving 23 games. Street went 5-1 with a 1.72 ERA, and 72 strikeouts to just 26 walks in 78 innings of work.
2004-Bobby Crosby, Oakland Athletics
Oakland shortstop Bobby Crosby has battled injuries the last few seasons, but in his rookie year of 2004 really made an impact in winning the award as the AL's top rookie. Crosby played in 151 games, and though he batted just .239, had 22 home runs, 34 doubles, and 64 runs batted in.
2003-Angel Berroa, Kansas City Royals
In a very close vote over the Yankees' Hideki Matsui, Royals' shortstop Angel Berroa won the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2003. Berroa played in 158 games, batting .287 with 17 homers and 73 RBI. He also had 28 doubles, 7 triples and 21 stolen bases, with an on base percentage of .338.
2002-Eric Hinske, Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto's Eric Hinske took home the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2002 by hitting .279 with career highs in home runs (24) and RBI (84). He also hit 38 doubles and had an on-base average of .365 in winning a fairly close vote over Baltimore pitcher Rodrigo Lopez.
2001-Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners
In 2001, outfielder Ichiro Suzuki came over from Japan and made an immediate impact with the Seattle Mariners. Suzuki became only the second player in history to win both the AL Rookie of the Year Award and MVP Award in the same season (Boston's Fred Lynn was the first). Suzuki hit .350 with 242 hits including 34 doubles, 8 triples and 8 home runs. He also drove in 69 runs and stole 56 bases, with an on-base percentage of .381. But perhaps most impressive was Suzuki's .997 fielding percentage.
2000-Kuzuhiro Sasaki, Seattle Mariners
He was a great closer in Japan for several years before coming over to sign with the Mariners, and then in his first big league season of 2000, Kazuhiro Sasaki won the AL Rookie of the Year Award at the age of 32. Sasaki saved 37 games, had an ERA of 3.16 with 78 strikeouts in 62 innings of work. Sasaki pitched for the Mariners until 2003, after which he returned to Japan and then retired shortly afterward.