NEW YORK -- In a freshman class full of impressive young talent, Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Ryan Braun and Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia were voted tops in the Class of 07 by their peers. The Major League Baseball Players Trust and Yahoo! Sports today announced the winners of the 2007 Players Choice Awards for Outstanding Rookie in an Internet "webisode" (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/awards/pa) highlighting their singular achievements and the outstanding performances of Major League players as community volunteers and role models. [See webcast schedule below for more Players Choice Award announcements.]
Braun, 23, led all Major League rookies in home runs (34), batting average (.324) and slugging percentage (.634), as he helped guide the resurgent Milwaukee Brewers to a second place finish in the NL Central Division. Drafted by the Brewers in the first round (5th overall) of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Braun made his MLB debut on May 25, 2007, and proceeded to lead the Brewers in batting average with 146 hits in 451 at bats. Braun attended the University of Miami, where he was named First Team Freshman All-America and National Freshman of the Year by Baseball America.
Pedroia, 24, led all American League rookies with a .317 batting average, and his 165 hits were third among all Red Sox batters, trailing only Mike Lowell (191) and David Ortiz (182). He led all Major League rookies in doubles (39), was second in on-base percentage (.380) and third in batting average and hits. Drafted in the second round (65th overall) of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Pedroia attended Arizona State where he was a three-time First Team All-Pac 10 selection, the 2003 Pac-10 co-Player of the Year and the 2003 National Defensive Player of the year.
Players Choice Awards annually recognize the best player, pitcher, rookie and comeback player in each league. The Player of the Year and Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting of all Major League players for the Players Choice Awards was conducted in September under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.
Each 2007 Players Choice Award winner will recommend the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has contributed more than $3 million dollars to charities around the world in honor of Players Choice Award winners.
The 2007 Players Choice Awards finalists are [winners in bold]:
Player of the Year: Matt Holliday (Colorado), Magglio Ordonez (Detroit), Alex Rodriguez (NY Yankees)
Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Tom Glavine (NY Mets), Torii Hunter (Minnesota), Jake Peavy (San Diego)
Outstanding Player: Curtis Granderson (Detroit), Magglio Ordonez (Detroit), Alex Rodriguez (NY Yankees)
Outstanding Pitcher: Josh Beckett (Boston), C.C. Sabathia (Cleveland), Chien-Ming Wang (NY Yankees)
Outstanding Rookie: Brian Bannister (Kansas City), Dustin Pedroia (Boston), Delmon Young (Tampa Bay)
Comeback Player of the Year: Jon Lester (Boston), Carlos Pena (Tampa Bay), Sammy Sosa (Texas)
Outstanding Player: Prince Fielder (Milwaukee), Matt Holliday (Colorado), David Wright (NY Mets)
Outstanding Pitcher: Jeff Francis (Colorado), Jake Peavy (San Diego), Brandon Webb (Arizona)
Outstanding Rookie: Ryan Braun (Milwaukee), Hunter Pence (Houston), Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado)
Comeback Player of the Year: Rick Ankiel (St. Louis), Josh Hamilton (Cincinnati), Dmitri Young (Washington)
Yahoo! Sports webcast schedule of the 2007 Players Choice Awards:
Tuesday, October 23 AL & NL Outstanding Pitchers
Wednesday, October 24 AL & NL Outstanding Players
Thursday, October 25 AL & NL Outstanding Rookies
Friday, October 26 AL & NL Comeback Players
Saturday, October 27 Player of the Year/Marvin Miller Man of the Year