Bour finishes fifth in NL ROY voting

First baseman recognized for strong finish to 2015 in BBWAA Award balloting

Bour finishes fifth in NL ROY voting

MIAMI -- When the season started, Justin Bour was playing first base at Triple-A New Orleans. But at the end of the year, the 27-year-old was an emerging power threat in the middle of the Marlins' lineup.

Bour's strong finish didn't go unnoticed on Monday night as he placed fifth in the Baseball Writers' Association of America Jackie Robinson National League Rookie of the Year Award voting. Not surprisingly, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was the Rookie of the Year winner. To some, the fact Bour finished in the top five was a bit of an upset.

Bour's path to the big leagues has been a journey. A 25th-round pick of the Cubs in 2009, Bour was blocked in the Chicago system, and the Marlins nabbed him as a Rule 5 pick in the Triple-A Phase in 2013.

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR VOTING

Player, Club 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Kris Bryant, CHC 30     150
Matt Duffy, SF   22 4 70
Jung Ho Kang, PIT   4 16 28
Noah Syndergaard, NYM   3 7 16
Justin Bour, MIA   1 1 4
Joc Pederson, LAD     1 1
Stephen Piscotty, STL     1 1

It appeared Bour wasn't part of Miami's plans in 2015 because the club signed veteran free agent Michael Morse to a two-year contract last December. But Morse struggled and dealt with a finger injury, creating an opportunity for Bour.

"Once I saw the pickup [of Morse] in the offseason, I figured I was either going to be used in a bench role, if I was to make the club, or I would be going back to New Orleans," Bour said in an interview in September.

Bour simply won the job, and Morse was traded to the Dodgers on July 31.

In 129 games, Bour's slash line was .262/.321/.479 with 23 home runs and a team-high 73 RBIs. He ended on a high, being named the NL Rookie of the Month for September, belting nine home runs while driving in 25 runs in 26 games.

Bour and catcher J.T. Realmuto were Miami's two most impactful rookie position players.

If not for such a strong rookie class, Bour may have finished higher in the BBWAA voting.

Bryant was a unanimous winner, collecting all 30 first-place votes and finishing with 150 points. Giants third baseman Matt Duffy was second with 70 points, followed by Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang's 28 points. Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard placed fourth with 16 points, and Bour, with four points, rounded out the top five. Bour received one second- and one third-place vote.

"I knew at some point during the year that I was going to be given an opportunity to do what I've always done," Bour said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.