NEW YORK — Carlos Beltran was on a cruise ship in the Caribbean when he got the news Tuesday: He was a nearly unanimous choice as American League rookie of the year.
The 22-year-old switch-hitting outfielder, who got married Saturday and is on his honeymoon, received 26 of 28 first-place votes in balloting announced Tuesday by the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America.
Beltran, who made the minimum $200,000, hit .293 with 22 homers, 108 runs batted in, 112 runs and 27 steals in 35 attempts. He is the third Kansas City player to win the award, following Lou Piniella in 1969 and Bob Hamelin in 1994.
Beltran, the first rookie in 24 years with 100 RBIs and 100 runs, also received one second-place vote and was bypassed on one ballot, earning 133 points.
Seattle pitcher Freddy Garcia, 17-8 with a 4.07 earned-run average, was second in the voting.
Beltran was the first rookie with 100 runs and 100 RBIs since Boston's Fred Lynn in 1975 and only the eighth overall.
"Part of the fun is he's not arbitration-eligible or isn't eligible to become a free agent," said Kansas City Manager Tony Muser, happy that Beltran will stick around for a while with the low-budget Royals.
Muser said Beltran is so focused on playing he didn't think about awards.
"I'm sure Carlos, in his mentality, doesn't even understand the impact," Muser said.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
American League Rookie-of-Year Voting
Voting for the 1999 American League rookie-of-the-year award, with first-, second- and third-place votes and total points on a 5-3-1 basis:
Player 1st 2nd 3rd Total Carlos Beltran, KC 26 1 0 133 Freddy Garcia, Sea 1 12 4 45 Jeff Zimmerman, Tex 0 6 9 27 Brian Daubach, Bos 1 3 2 16 Tim Hudson, Oak 0 3 4 13 Chris Singleton, Chi 0 2 3 9 Carlos Lee, Chi 0 1 1 4 Billy Koch, Tor 0 0 4 4 Trot Nixon, Bos 0 0 1 1