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Nationals OF Bryce Harper wins NL Rookie of the Year

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer
Harper has won the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year award. (US Presswire)

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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has won the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year award, as voted upon by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The results of the voting were revealed Monday night during a one-hour special on MLB Network. Harper beat out Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley and Reds infielder Todd Frazier.

He just turned 20 years old on Oct. 16, so Harper becomes the second-youngest player to win the award after the Mets' Dwight Gooden (1984) by exactly one month, as Gooden's birthday is Nov. 16.

Harper began the season with Triple-A Syracuse but was promoted in time to make his major-league debut on April 28 against the Dodgers. Considering Harper was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft and had been an Internet sensation since about age 14, the promotion was met with significant hype. Harper delivered. He went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI, which set the tone for a great rookie campaign. He played all three outfield positions and established himself as the Nationals' 2-hole hitter.

Harper ended the season hitting .270/.340/.477 with 22 home runs, 59 RBI, 98 runs, 26 doubles, nine triples and 18 stolen bases. Defensively, he added eight outfield assists.

With his 22 homers, Harper became only the second player in baseball history -- along with former Red Sox slugger Tony Conigliaro -- to top 20 home runs in a season as a teenager.

Harper performed beautifully down the stretch, too. He hit .327/.384/.660 with 10 doubles, four triples, 12 homers, 27 RBI and 37 runs from Aug. 17 to the end of the regular season, helping propel the Nationals to the best record in baseball.

Harper becomes the first Nationals player to ever win the Rookie of the Year award.

Here's a summary of the voting:

And here are the individual ballots, courtesy of the BBWAA:

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