Two's company: Myers, Archer continue awards chase
Rays teammates again finalists for an AL Rookie honor, this one handed out by BBWAA
ST. PETERSBURG -- Wil Myers and Chris Archer are in the hunt for the American League's Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award.
That news came Tuesday night when the finalists for the Baseball Writers' Association of America awards were revealed on a one-hour special on MLB Network.
Myers should be considered the favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year honors based on the fact the Rays outfielder has been honored as the AL's top rookie by Sporting News and again with a Players Choice Award.
"It's just a huge honor to be considered for an award like this," said Myers during a conference call, along with Archer. "... Just to be in the top three finalists for this award is just a huge honor and I'm excited to be a part of it."
Archer has been close behind in each of the earlier awards given out. Also in the running is Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias
"We wouldn't even be nominated for this award if we didn't have guys in the lineup for Wil, setting him up for good pitches, and guys playing defense behind me," Archer said. "So we can credit ourselves a good portion. But Wil and I don't forget that the reason we're here is because the team that we're on."
Voting for the awards, conducted by the BBWAA, took place at the end of the regular season, so postseason performances were not taken into account. The winner for the top rookie will be announced Monday.
Being nominated for ROY is a dream. Thanks for all the love and support. I don't even need to win. Nomination is an honor in itself.— Chris Archer (@ChrisArcher42) November 6, 2013
Despite not joining Tampa Bay until the club's 70th game on June 18, Myers led AL rookies with 53 RBIs compiled in the 88 games he played. The last player to lead AL rookies in RBIs in less than 90 games was Detroit's Hoot Evers in 1946 when he had 33 in 81 games.
Myers also hit .293 with 13 home runs, which helped lead the Rays to their fourth playoff appearance in six years. Tampa Bay was three games over .500 when he arrived (36-33). Then, with Myers in lineup, the team had an 18-games-over-.500 finish (56-38).
Myers, 22, came to the Rays on Dec. 9 as the marquee player received in the trade that sent James Shields to the Royals.
Archer, 25, saw his first extended action in the Major Leagues in 2013, and he went 9-7 with a 3.22 ERA in 23 starts. Among AL rookies, he ranked first in ERA, opponents' average (.226), complete games (two), shutouts (two), hits per nine innings (7.5) and WHIP (1.13). Archer won the AL Pitcher of the Month and AL Rookie of the Month awards for July.
Archer and Myers could be together with the team awhile, a prospect Archer speculated about.
"The next however many years we're together with the Rays, I hope that we can become pillars of the organization just as a couple of other guys have been able to do that," Archer said.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.