How frequent does a unanimous Rookie of the Year happen?

Frequency of a unanimous Rookie of the Year

Corey Seager won the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year with a unanimous 100% vote. Kris Bryant won it last year with a unanimous vote. Jose Abreau won it the year before that, also with unanimous vote. Three years in a row with a unanimous Rookie of the Year. How often do Rookie of Years win with a 100% vote?

It was a bit tricky finding out, because every single Rookie of the Year list I found online does not list the percentage of the vote. You have to click into each individual year to find out the vote. To get a complete list of all the voting for Rookie of the Year, I compiled the data of all the votes for all the years, and put it into a spreadsheet. Here’s the results.

From 1947 to 1984, there were only three unanimous Rookie of the Years:

  1. NL 1956 Frank Robinson
  2. NL 1959 Willie McCovey
  3. AL 1972 Carlton Fisk

Over 38 years, roughly one every 12 years.

Starting with Vince Coleman in 1985 to today, there has been 16 unanimous Rookie of the Year winners.

  1. NL 1985 Vince Coleman
  2. AL 1987 Mark McGwire
  3. NL 1987 Benito Santiago
  4. AL 1990 Sandy Alomar
  5. AL 1993 Tim Salmon
  6. NL 1993 Mike Piazza
  7. AL 1996 Derek Jeter
  8. AL 1997 Nomar Garciaparra
  9. NL 1997 Scott Rolen
  10. NL 2001 Albert Pujols
  11. AL 2008 Evan Longoria
  12. NL 2011 Craig Kimbrel
  13. AL 2012 Mike Trout
  14. AL 2014 Jose Abreu
  15. NL 2015 Kris Bryant
  16. NL 2016 Corey Seager

Over 31 years, about every 2 years there is a unanimous Rookie.

Here’s a fun infographic visualizing the timeline of unanimous Rookie of the Year winners:
Timeline list of all the unanimous Rookie of Year winners

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