DETROIT -- Before Michael Fulmer learns his fate in American League Rookie of the Year voting Monday, he was named the Tigers' Rookie of the Year. The big right-hander was an overwhelming selection Wednesday by members of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association, which has handled the award since 1969.
Fulmer already had one rookie honor, running away in player voting for The Sporting News version of the award. Called up in late April, the 23-year-old nearly became the first rookie in 30 years to win an ERA title, finishing with a 3.06 ERA along with an 11-7 record and 132 strikeouts over 159 innings. His 4.9 Wins Above Replacement by the baseball-reference formula ranked eighth among AL pitchers of all experience levels and led AL rookies of all positions.
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The righty's work easily topped any other Tigers rookie, a small field of contestants despite a younger team than Detroit has fielded in a while. Outfielder Steven Moya had the next-largest contribution, batting .255 (24-for-94) over 31 games with five home runs and 11 RBIs, mostly while filling in for an injured J.D. Martinez. JaCoby Jones made a quick impact as a late-season callup, but ended up with just 28 at-bats over 24 games, during which he had six hits with three doubles and three runs scored.
Fulmer is the first pitcher to win Tigers Rookie of the Year since reliever Al Alburquerque in 2011, and the first starting pitcher since Rick Porcello in '09. Other starters who won the award include Armando Galarraga ('08), Justin Verlander ('06), Kevin Ritz ('89), Dave Rozema ('77) and Mark Fidrych ('76).
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.