At the beginning of the 2018 Detroit Tigers season there was a giant question mark hanging in the air. Who would be the Tigers Rookie of the Year? There were many young prospects on the cusp of arriving in Detroit, and more young players that happened to have exceeded their rookie limits, making them ineligible. So we wondered who would join the ranks of players like Michael Fulmer and Nicholas Castellanos as the stand-out of the Tigers season?
On Tuesday, we got our answer, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone who watched the Tigers play this season. Niko Goodrum was named the 2018 Rookie of the Year for the team.
Goodrum didn’t necessarily make the same kind of splash as Fulmer, but it was still obvious that he was the standout of the season among a lot of other young players, and may have gone a long way to securing his future with the team as the rebuild progresses.
In his first season with the Tigers, and his first full season in the majors after spending his entire career in the Twins minor league system, Goodrum showed some good numbers. He hit .245/.315/.432 with a wRC+ of 103, and posted a 1.1 WAR for the year. He also collected 16 home runs and 53 RBIs.
Goodrum appeared in 131 games for the Tigers this season, but even on his off days he was working to help his new community in Michigan, by donating cases of water to those in Flint who still needed it. He did this on two different occasions over the season.
He might not be the flashiest guy on the field, but without a doubt Goodrum deserves this Rookie of the Year acknowledgement. It couldn’t have gone to a more deserving young Tiger.