Myers again tops Archer for AL Rookie honor
This time, Rays outfielder takes home MLB Players Choice Award
ST. PETERSBURG -- Wil Myers has again been recognized as the American League's top rookie for 2013, as the Rays outfielder earned an MLB Players Choice Award on Monday night as the AL's Outstanding Rookie.
Also in the running for the award was Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer along with Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias.
The 22nd annual Players Choice Awards benefits the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Balloting was conducted in September.
Earlier this offseason, Myers was named the AL Rookie of the Year by Sporting News; Archer finished third in that vote.
Voted on by Major League players, the Players Choice Awards have been handed out since 1992. This year's winners were given the opportunity to donate to charity a portion of grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust, which raises funds and attention for issues affecting the needy and promotes community involvement. Myers split his $20,000 between the Miracle League and the Baseball Chapel.
Despite not joining the Rays until their 70th game on June 18, Myers led AL rookies with 53 RBIs compiled in the 88 games he played. The last player to lead AL rookies in RBIs in under 90 games was Detroit's Hoot Evers in 1946, when he had 33 in 81 games.
Myers also hit .293 with 13 home runs, which helped lead the Rays to their fourth playoff appearance in six years. Tampa Bay was three games over .500 when he arrived (36-33). Then, with Myers in lineup, the team had an 18-games-over .500 finish (56-38).
Myers came to the Rays on Dec. 9 as the marquee player received in the trade that sent James Shields to the Royals.
At the end of the season, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon called Myers' rookie campaign "very impressive."
"To come in as he did," Maddon said, "and he made a huge difference for us when he showed up. He did struggle a little bit in the playoffs; however, don't forget what he did to get us to this particular moment."
Maddon said Myers has prodigious power.
"He hits the ball as far as anybody in baseball right now," Maddon said. "To all fields. He hits for average, too. Good baserunner and he runs well -- better than I thought -- too. Defensively we've got to help him a little bit. I thought he showed signs of being at least a solid outfielder. I think with technique, he'll develop. We'll work with him in Spring Training.
"Makeup wise, he definitely has a big league makeup. I talked a lot about him not being overwhelmed. He should be Rookie of the Year. There's no question in my mind. ... This guy is going to be a big part of our future."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.