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Myers named Sporting News' AL Rookie of the Year

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays outfielder Wil Myers has been named the American League Rookie of the Year by the Sporting News. Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer finished third in the vote.

Jose Fernandez of the Marlins took home the National League award.

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 fewer than 90 games was Detroit's Hoot Evers in 1946, when he had 33 in 81 games.

Myers also hit .293 with 13 home runs to help lead the Rays to their fourth postseason appearance in six years. Tampa Bay was three games over .500 when he arrived (36-33). After Myers joined the team, the Rays went 56-38.

Myers was acquired by 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, Rays 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."

This annual award by the Sporting News is voted on by other MLB players. Myers finished with 33 votes, Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias had 29, followed by Archer with 27. Martin Perez of the Rangers had eight votes, and seven others received one vote each.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for

Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer, Wil Myers