ST. PETERSBURG, FL-Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Wil Myers has been named the 2013 Jackie Robinson American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Myers, who turns 23 on December 10, received 23 out of a possible 30 first-place votes. He becomes the third player in Rays history to earn the honor, following third baseman Evan Longoria in 2008 and right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson in 2011.
Rays right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, who received one first-place vote, finished third behind Myers and Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias.
Myers, who played in 88 games, becomes the first position player in AL history to win Rookie of the Year in fewer than 100 games and the second in major league history, joining Ryan Howard (2005) who also played in 88 games. He was added to the Rays major league roster on June 18 and batted .293 (98-for-335) with 13 home runs, 53 RBI, 23 doubles, a .354 on-base percentage and .478 slugging percentage. He led AL rookies in RBI-the first player to do so in fewer than 90 games since Hoot Evers for the Detroit Tigers in 1946-as well as doubles, extra-base hits (36), slugging percentage, OPS (.831) and go-ahead RBI (15). He made 68 starts in right field, six in center field and 11 at designated hitter.
Since 2000, only one position player has won AL Rookie of the Year at a younger age than the 22-year-old Myers: Mike Trout won in 2012 at age 21.
After Myers' June 18 call-up, he led the Rays in doubles, RBI, runs scored (50), batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The Rays were 36-33 (.522) prior to his call-up and went 56-38 (.596) thereafter. Myers connected for his first major league home run on June 23 at Yankee Stadium, a grand slam off CC Sabathia. He became only the fifth rookie since 2000 to lead a postseason-bound team in batting average after the All-Star break (.294), joining Yoenis Céspedes in 2012, Albert Pujols in 2001, Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and Carlos Guillén in 2000.
The High Point, N.C., native was acquired by the Rays from the Kansas City Royals on December 9, 2012 in a seven-player trade involving right-handed pitcher James Shields. Myers was also recently named 2013 American League Outstanding Rookie in the Players Choice Awards as well as Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year.