Bryce Harper Wins National League Rookie of the Year Award

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIINovember 12, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12:  Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals hits a home run in the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 12, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Shortly after Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim center fielder Mike Trout was unanimously named the American League Rookie of the Year, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals was named the National League's best rookie of 2012 in a close vote.

Harper received 16 first-place votes, narrowly edging out Arizona Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley.

Despite not being called up until after the season's first month, and despite going through a horrid stretch during the middle of the season, Harper played in 139 games and finished towards the top of many offensive categories amongst rookies.

He hit 22 home runs (2nd), drove in 59 (4th), scored 98 runs (1st), stole 18 bases (2nd), hit nine triples (1st) and posted an OPS of .817 (4th).

Harper, who turned 20 in October, becomes the youngest to ever win the Rookie of the Year Award.

While he was quite bad in the middle of the season, he finished the season scorching hot and was an imposing figure in the Nationals lineup during the playoffs. He didn't contribute all that much, but the threat of his monstrous power was there.

Harper will look to improve next season, of course. His .270 batting average was solid, but there's definitely room for him to get better. Limiting his strikeouts would be one such way—he struck out 120 times in 533 at-bats.

Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds finished third in the voting, and a case could be made for both he and Miley to be the winner.

This year's top tier of rookies in the National League were all deserving of the award, but Harper ended up coming out on top in the voting.

It'll be interesting to see which of the three players makes the biggest impact on their respective teams throughout their careers.