Iglesias named Tigers Rookie of the Year
Midseason acquisition from Boston a leading candidate for AL ROY
DETROIT -- Jose Iglesias needed just 2 1/2 months in the Motor City to establish himself as the best rookie on the Tigers. The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association, in turn, rewarded him by voting him the Tigers Rookie of the Year.
Considering no rookie spent the entire season on the Tigers' active roster, it wasn't exactly a heavy competition. Considering Iglesias is a leading contender for American League Rookie of the Year honors when voting results are released on Nov. 11, he probably would've beaten out a lot of full-season candidates too.
On a veteran-laden Tigers roster, Iglesias was the late-season savior at shortstop, arriving from Boston in a Trade Deadline deal to eventually fill the void left by Jhonny Peralta's suspension. The 23-year-old ended up changing the dynamic of Detroit's infield defense, adding defensive range the Tigers hadn't seen from the position in years.
Iglesias earned a 3.4 Ultimate Zone Rating over 571 2/3 innings at shortstop between Boston and Detroit. Extrapolated over 150 games, his 8.3 UZR would have ranked him third among AL shortstops behind Yunel Escobar and Alcides Escobar.
Offensively, Iglesias' contribution in Detroit was softer, a .259 batting average (35-for-135) and .654 OPS over 46 games as a Tiger. He added six doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs.
Iglesias batted .294 in August, but just .200 in September. He seemingly struggled to hit at his usual strength after missing a week down the stretch with a bruised left hand, and eventually gave way to Peralta for a few starts at short in the postseason.
Add in Iglesias' Boston tenure, and he batted .303 with 16 doubles, two triples, three homers and 29 RBIs in 109 games. His 35 infield hits led all AL players, while his 10 bunt hits tied for second.
The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association has been voting on Tigers Rookie of the Year honors since 1969. Iglesias is the first shortstop to win the award since Deivi Cruz in 1997, and the first midseason acquisition to win since Carlos Pena in 2002.