Nov 13, 2012, 12:10 AM EST
|Photo by AP|
Bryce Harper has been named the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, becoming the youngest position player ever to win the award.
Harper, 20, also becomes the first player to win the honor with the Nationals since the team moved to Washington. Ryan Zimmerman finished second in 2006, missing first place by just four votes.
Harper received 16 first place votes to beat out Wade Miley of the Arizona Diamondbacks who finished with 12. Reds outfielder Todd Frazier placed third with three first place votes.
Afterwards Harper was humbled to be now share a distinction with players he grew up idolizing.
“Just to be up there with names like Jackie Robinson and Mike Piazza and all the guys that won it is just an honor,” he said. “To be able to have a great team to play with all year, they really made this year fun. This is just icing on the cake, definitely.”
Harper was called up by the Nationals to make his major league debut on April 28 after beginning the season in Triple-A. He was given a chance to make the team out of spring training, but struggled and was sent to play with the Syracuse Chiefs.
After joking that his initial concern was about the cold weather in Syracuse, Harper said the experience was valuable in his quick adjustment to the major league level.
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