Justin Verlander wins AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year

Justin Verlander, who was among the league leaders in the major pitching categories, was named the American League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award in voting by the BBWAA.

Verlander, 21, was listed first on 26 of the 28 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city and second on one to total 133 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. The righthander was part of an impressive rotation for the Detroit Tigers, who won the AL wild-card berth. Verlander was 17-9 with a 3.63 ERA in 30 starts. He ranked fourth in victories and seventh in ERA.

Verlander’s victory marked the first time a Tigers player won the award since second baseman Lou Whitaker in 1978. Other Detroit winners were pitcher Mark Fidrych in 1976 and shortstop Harvey Kuenn in 1953. It was also the first time in 25 years that a starting pitcher was honored in the AL, since the New York Yankees’ Dave Righetti in 1981.

Boston Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon (4-2, 0.92 ERA, 35 SV) finished second in the voting with 63 points, although he did not have a first-place vote. The other first-place votes went to Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano (12-3, 2.16 ERA), who finished third overall, and Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis (.291, 16 HR, 62 RBI), who was sixth.

The vote:

2006 AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year

Justin VerlanderDetroit Tigers261133
Jonathan PapelbonBoston Red Sox20363
Francisco LirianoMinnesota Twins131630
Kenji JohjimaSeattle Mariners2410
Jered WeaverLos Angeles Angels228
Nick MarkakisBaltimore Orioles127
Ian KinslerTexas Rangers11