NEW YORK » San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz wound up together on the winning side yesterday when they were voted the rookies of the year.
Earlier this month, Posey singled off Feliz as the Giants beat Texas in the clinching Game 5 of the World Series.
"It’s hard to believe it’s been two weeks," Posey said.
Posey hit several key home runs in the stretch, then helped the Giants win the crown for the first time since 1954. He easily outdistanced Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward for the National League award.
Feliz, the rocket-armed righty who set a rookie record with 40 saves as Texas reached its first World Series, finished far ahead of Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson for the AL honor.
"I hope it’s not a fluke. I hope I have a better season next year," the 22-year-old Dominican reliever said through a translator on a conference call.
Promoted from Triple-A on May 29, Posey quickly adjusted to the big leagues — both at the plate and behind it.
The 23-year-old Posey hit .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs. He homered eight times after Sept. 1 in leading the Giants to the NL West title, and his homer on the final day of the regular season helped them clinch the division.
Posey was picked first on 20 of 32 ballots in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Voting was done by two members of the BBWAA in every league city after the regular season, with each person listing three players.
Posey was left off the ballot by Yasushi Kikuchi of Kyodo News from the Los Angeles-Anaheim chapter. Kikuchi chose Florida first baseman Gaby Sanchez first, Heyward second and St. Louis pitcher Jaime Garcia third.
"I think Rookie of the Year is for the rookie player who plays better than any other through the entire season. From this standpoint, Gaby and Jason produced more hits and played more games than Posey. Also, Jaime Garcia pitched as a starter through the entire season," Kikuchi said in an e-mail to the Associated Press.