Diamondbacks’ Corbin Carroll unanimously wins NL Rookie of the Year

Nov 13, 2023, 4:56 PM | Updated: 5:22 pm

Corbin Carroll...

Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during Game One of the Wild Card Series at American Family Field on October 03, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star outfielder Corbin Carroll was named National League Rookie of the Year in a unanimous vote by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Carroll, 23, is the first Diamondbacks player to win Rookie of the Year, and by doing so he secured Arizona another draft pick at the end of the first round in 2024 with the Prospect Promotion Incentive.

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder James Outman and New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga were finalists along with Carroll, and Senga finished second in the race. Baltimore Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson won the American League Rookie of the Year unanimously.

The D-backs invested in their top prospect before the season with an eight-year, $111 million contract (club option for 2031) after his taste of the big leagues in 2022.

Carroll responded with an elite start to the year, entering the All-Star break slashing .289/.366/.549 and starting the Midsummer Classic in his hometown of Seattle. He won NL Rookie of the Month for June.

Carroll went through a grinding five-week stretch after the break (.668 OPS), coinciding with a slide in the standings for Arizona. But he adjusted back to the league, finishing the year with a .928 OPS over the final six weeks and helping the D-backs reach the postseason.

Overall, Carroll led all NL rookies in fWAR (6.0), home runs (tied at 25), runs (116), extra-base hits (65) and stolen bases (54). No rookie had ever hit 25 homers with 50 steals in a season before Carroll. He also led MLB with 10 triples and finished with an .868 OPS.

“I would say anywhere from impressive to magical,” manager Torey Lovullo described Carroll’s season before the postseason. “Like he just got after it every single day. He improved, he made adjustments, the league adjusted to him and he adjusted back and he just never took his foot off the gas pedal. That’s his personality and he fits into what I want this organization and I want our team to be known as. He’s gonna be a trendsetter here for a long time.”

Carroll was one of the game’s fastest runners with 99th percentile sprint speed and paired that with all-fields power from the left side. At 5-foot-10, he was able to blast 440-foot home runs to straightaway center field.

The postseason is not considered for these awards, but Carroll was a catalyst for Arizona’s run to the World Series.

He went 7-for-17 with two home runs, four RBIs and four walks in the wild card round and NLDS. He started cold in the NLCS (2-for-19) but turned it around with a three-hit performance in Game 7 at the Philadelphia Phillies.

General manager Mike Hazen has said what Carroll did as a rookie was not normal, and the organization is already feeling “tangible benefits” of agreeing to a long-term deal with him. The club has a foundational piece to build around for the foreseeable future.

“The World Series means a lot, having somebody like Corbin Carroll, who was one of your best players, knowing he’s going to be here for a long time, those two things to me go hand in hand,” Hazen said at the General Managers Meetings.

“It’s not just saying that for one 30-day period or for one season we went to the World Series — we went to the World Series and that was awesome and we did it with a guy who’s now going to be here for a long time, who is going to be anchoring a team that has the chance in the future to do it again.”

The Diamondbacks were the last of 30 teams without a Rookie of the Year winner. Wade Miley finished second in 2012 behind Bryce Harper. Brandon Webb (2003) and Travis Lee (1998) finished third.

This year marked the fifth ever where both Rookie of the Year winners did so unanimously. The last was in 2017 when Cody Bellinger did so for the Dodgers and Aaron Judge for the Yankees.

Carroll and Henderson were the the first unanimous Rookie of the Year winners in either league since current Diamondbacks outfielder Kyle Lewis won in 2020 for the Seattle Mariners.

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