Jackson finishes second in AL Rookie balloting
Austin Jackson will have to settle for the respect of his peers among American League rookies. The Tigers center fielder finished as the runner-up to Rangers closer Neftali Feliz in balloting for the AL Rookie of the Year award.
In the end, though, members of the Baseball Writers Association of America valued Feliz’s contribution to on a division champion over Jackson’s all-around game for the .500 Tigers. Feliz took 20 of the 28 first-place votes, with Jackson taking the rest along with 19 second-place votes and one third-place nod.
Fellow Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch, a strong contender at midseason before he fell into a second-half slump, garnered three
second third-place votes to finish tied for fifth.
Jackson still ended up with the best finish by a Tigers position player since Lou Whitaker won the award in 1978. Justin Verlander remains the last Tiger to win the award in 2006.
In a year when few American League teams had rookies last the entire season in meaningful roles — remember when another Tigers outfielder, Brennan Boesch, was a midseason sensation — the choice essentially came down to Jackson or Feliz. While Jackson’s supporters could argue he had more of an impact as an everyday player, Feliz had the advantage of tangible results for a contending team.