May 20, 2024

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson was named American League Rookie of the Year on Monday, garnering all 30 first-place votes and becoming the first Orioles player to win the award since closer Gregg Olson in 1989.

The 22-year-old Henderson, who helped lead the Orioles to a 101-61 season and an AL East title, rode a combination of power and smooth defense to the award.

Cleveland right-hander Tanner Bibee finished second and Boston first baseman Triston Casas third. Henderson was the 13th unanimous selection in AL history and the first since Seattle’s Kyle Lewis in 2020.

Because Henderson started the season in the major leagues and was ranked among the top 100 prospects in baseball, the Orioles will receive an additional first-round pick in 2024 as part of the Prospect Promotion Incentive in the collective-bargaining agreement.

Henderson debuted toward the end of the 2022 season, falling just 14 at-bats shy of exhausting his rookie eligibility. He had rocketed through Baltimore’s system after signing for $2.3 million as a second-round pick out of high school in Selma, Alabama.

After spending most of the first half of the season as Baltimore’s third baseman, Henderson shifted to shortstop — his natural position — in the second half and paired with Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman to form perhaps the best young duo in baseball. Among shortstops, only Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor — both of whom have contracts of $325 million or greater — hit more home runs than Henderson’s 28. Henderson also drove in 82 runs and scored 100.

The 24-year-old Bibee, who joined the Guardians in late April, finished the season 10-4 with a 2.98 ERA — the fourth lowest in the AL among starters with at least 140 innings. A fifth-round pick in the 2021 draft, Bibee joined right-hander Gavin Williams and left-hander Logan Allen as one of the best trios of rookie starting pitchers on one team in baseball history.

Bibee received 20 second-place votes and appeared on 27 of 30 ballots.

Casas, 23, beat a crowded field for third place. His 24 home runs ranked second behind Henderson among AL rookies, and his .367 on-base percentage was behind three Minnesota Twins: Edouard Julien, Royce Lewis and Matt Wallner. Casas beat out Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Jung for third place.

Others who received votes included Houston catcher Yainer Diaz, Boston outfielder Masataka Yoshida, Julien and New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe, who won the Gold Glove last week.

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