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Dodgers Corey Seager (of Kannapolis) is rookie of the year

By Bill Shaikin

Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES  (TNS)— Corey Seager, who outshined high-priced veterans all around him and led the Dodgers to the National League championship series, was announced Monday as NL rookie of the year. Detroit’s Michael Fulmer took the AL honor.

The 22-year-old shortstop, who is from Kannapolis and is a Northwest Cabarrus graduate, was a unanimous winner, the first Dodger so honored since outfielder Raul Mondesi in 1994. The only other Dodger to win the award unanimously was Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza in 1993.

Washington center fielder Trea Turner, 23, who did not win a place in the Nationals’ lineup until July but won the NL rookie of the month award in August and September, finished second in the voting. Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda, 28, placed third.

Seager batted a team-high .308 and hit 26 home runs, one shy of the team lead. He set Dodgers rookie records in hits (193), total bases (321), extra-base hits (71), doubles (40) and runs scored (105), ranking among the league’s top 10 in each category.

In wins above replacement — the purported catch-all statistic — Seager ranked second in the NL to Kris Bryant of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, according to fangraphs.com.

He established himself alongside two second-year players — Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians and Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros — at the head of a star-studded group of rising young shortstops.

The group also includes Addison Russell of the Cubs, Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox, Aledmys Diaz of the St. Louis Cardinals and Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies, who hit 27 home runs before suffering a season-ending injury in July.

Seager already has been announced as one of the finalists for the NL most valuable player award, expected to be won Thursday by Bryant. Seager is expected to finish second or third in the MVP vote. The highest finish for a Dodgers rookie in the MVP vote: third, by pitcher Joe Black in 1952.

Seager, a minimum-wage shortstop on the team with the highest payroll in the league, was the youngest of the Dodgers’ 24 position players this year. None of the veteran position players on the team’s current roster has finished higher than fourth in an MVP vote.

Dodgers icon Jackie Robinson was the first winner of the rookie award, in 1947. The award, now presented in Robinson’s honor to a player in each league, has been won by a Dodger 17 times, the most of any team in the major leagues.

Seager became the first Dodger to win since outfielder Todd Hollandsworth in 1996.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers could win again, when the NL manager of the year award is announced. Dave Roberts is one of the finalists, along with Dusty Baker of the Nationals and Joe Maddon of the Cubs.

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