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Baltimore and Arizona’s Unanimous Rookie of the Year Selections: Henderson and Carroll

It was a glorious day for Major League Baseball as Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson and Arizona’s Corbin Carroll were both awarded the Rookie of the Year title unanimously. The duo’s exceptional display of power, speed, and defense greatly contributed to their teams’ playoff appearances, only two years after experiencing 110-loss seasons.

This achievement is particularly significant considering the amendments made by MLB during the offseason, which included the implementation of a pitch clock, restrictions on extreme infield defensive shifts, and limitations on pitcher disengagement from the rubber. Henderson and Carroll were part of a cohort of young players who fully embraced the emphasis on athleticism, showcasing their versatility in various areas of the game.

Even though some established players were initially apprehensive about the rule changes, Henderson and Carroll, who had prior experience with them in the minors, wholeheartedly embraced the adjustments. Their perseverance and commitment paid off, leading to their unanimous selection for the prestigious Rookie of the Year awards.

Henderson, at the age of 22, demonstrated his prowess at both third base and shortstop, exhibiting exceptional defensive skills. He achieved an impressive season stat line of a .255 batting average, 28 home runs, 82 RBIs, 100 runs, 29 doubles, and 10 stolen bases. Carroll, aged 23, also left a lasting impression with his remarkable performance, finishing the regular season with a batting average of .285, 25 home runs, and 54 stolen bases. Additionally, he secured a spot in the All-Star team, becoming the first rookie to join the 25-50 club.

These outstanding achievements mark a significant
milestone for both the American League and the National League, as it is only the fifth time that unanimous selections have been made for both awards. The last instance occurred in 2017 with Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Both Henderson and Carroll received well-deserved recognition, earning substantial bonuses from the pre-arbitration pool for their phenomenal accomplishments. This remarkable feat also serves as a testament to the exceptional rookie class of 2023, particularly for hitters.

As a result of their exceptional performances, the Orioles and the D-backs will receive additional selections after the first round of July’s amateur draft, as part of the prospect promotion incentive added to the collective bargaining agreement. This provision was designed to discourage teams from delaying arbitration and free-agent eligibility.

The unwavering dedication and exceptional talent displayed by Henderson and Carroll truly embody the essence of the sport and have set a new standard for athleticism in baseball.

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