Gunnar Henderson named American League Rookie of the Year

Published 5:41 pm Monday, November 13, 2023

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Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson was unanimously named American League (AL) Rookie of the Year on Monday.

A panel of voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA), Henderson was picked over Cleveland right-hander Tanner Bibee and Boston first baseman Triston Casas. He received all 30 first-place votes and 150 points. Bibee was second with 20 second-place votes and 67 points. Casas was third with 25 points.

Henderson, a former Prep All-American at Morgan Academy. also was named AL Rookie of the Year by both Sporting News and Baseball Digest.

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“I feel really special and I’m honored to be named AL Rookie of the Year,” Henderson told MLB Network. “I thank everyone who voted for me. “I just tried to go out there and play as hard as I can. And I felt like that showed.”

Former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Gregg Olson told the Baltimore Sun last weekend that he’s glad to see another Oriole get named Rookie of the Year. Olson was AL rookie of the year in 1989.

“It’s been way too long,” Olson told The Baltimore Sun. “Somebody else can take the mantle now.”

Other Orioles teammates voiced their support for Henderson, 22.

“He’s a special player,” catcher James McCann told MASNsports. “Obviously, the talent. That’s easy to see and talk about. But he runs hard every time he puts the ball into play. I think just the way he plays the game, how hard he plays the game. And he does the little things right. That, to me, is the best part about him.”

The Selma Times-Journal baseball player of the year in 2019,  Henderson helped the Orioles to the AL East Division title and the AL’s best record 101 wins. 

Henderson led all AL rookies with 28 homers, 82 RBIs, and 100 runs playing shortstop and third base. Henderson is in line to become the first Orioles player to win a BBWAA award since Cal Ripken’s AL Most Valuable Player honors in 1991.

Ripken told MLB Network that he was proud of Henderson, a 2019 graduate of Morgan Academy.

In the end, it was all about the family who taught Henderson the game. “My dad and I always spent a lot of time hitting,” Henderson said. “I used to hit the ball with my older brother.”