Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was a unanimous choice as the American League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award. He became the first player in Tampa Bay’s 11 seasons to win a BBWAA award.
Longoria, 23, was listed first on all 28 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city for a perfect total of 140 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. He was the only player on every ballot. Longoria, who was Tampa Bay’s first-round choice and the third overall pick in the 2006 first year player draft, began the 2008 season in the minors and made his major league debut in the second week. He batted .272 in 122 games and 448 at-bats and led AL rookies in home runs (27), RBI (85), total bases (238) and extra-base hits (60) for the pennant-winning Rays. Voting is conducted prior to the start of post-season play.
Chicago White Sox second baseman Alexei Ramirez, who hit .297 with 77 RBI and 21 home runs, including four grand slams, finished second in the voting, and Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (.280, 9 HR, 47 RBI, 50 SB, 98 R) was third. In all, 10 players received votes.
Longoria became the seventh AL rookie to win the award by a unanimous vote and the first since Nomar Garciaparra in 1997. The others were Derek Jeter, Tim Salmon, Sandy Alomar Jr., Mark McGwire and Carlton Fisk. There have been nine unanimous winners in the National League. Longoria is the fourth third baseman honored, joining Eric Hinske, John Castino and Gil McDougald.
2008 AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year
|Evan Longoria||Tampa Bay Rays||28||—||—||140|
|Alexei Ramirez||Chicago White Sox||—||18||5||59|
|Jacoby Ellsbury||Boston Red Sox||—||7||5||26|
|Mike Aviles||Kansas City Royals||—||2||3||9|
|Armando Galarraga||Detroit Tigers||—||—||9||9|
|Joey Devine||Oakland Athletics||—||1||—||3|
|Denard Span||Minnesota Twins||—||—||3||3|
|Nick Blackburn||Minnesota Twins||—||—||1||1|
|Joba Chamberlain||New York Yankees||—||—||1||1|
|Brad Ziegler||Oakland Athletics||—||—||1||1|