Cubs’ Geovany Soto wins NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year

Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto was the overwhelming National League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award by the BBWAA. He was the only player named on all ballots.

Soto, 25, was first on 31 and second on one of the 32 ballots cast by two writers in each NL city for 158 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. In addition to handling Chicago’s pitching staff, Soto led all league rookies in RBI (86), doubles (35) and extra-base hits (60) and was second in batting (.285) and home runs (23) for the NL Central champion Cubs, who had the best record in the league. In July at Yankee Stadium, Soto was the first rookie catcher to start in an All-Star Game having been elected by fans in the 2008 voting.

The other first place vote went to Cincinnati Reds outfielder Joey Votto, the runner-up with 76 points. Votto was second in the league to Soto in RBI (84) doubles (34) and extra-base hits (59) among rookies but first in seven other offensive categories: batting (.297), home runs (24), hits (156), total bases (266), multi-hit games (42), on-base percentage (.368) and slugging (.506). Atlanta Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens (13-10, 3.68 ERA) placed third. In all, six players gained mention.

Soto is the fifth catcher to win the award — joining Johnny Bench, Earl Williams, Benito Santiago and Mike Piazza — and the fifth Cubs winner. The others were Billy Williams, Ken Hubbs, Jerome Walton and Kerry Wood.

2008 NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year

Geovany SotoChicago Cubs311158
Joey VottoCincinnati Reds121876
Jair JurrjensAtlanta Braves61634
Edinson VolquezCincinnati Reds39
Jay BruceCincinnati Reds77
Kosuke FukudomeChicago Cubs114