NEW YORK – Big expectations followed Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa from the moment each was drafted a few years ago. It didn't take long for either one to deliver.
Bryant was a unanimous pick as National League Rookie of the Year on Monday, and Correa took the American League prize in a close vote by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," Correa, who edged out fellow shortstop Francisco Lindor of Cleveland for the award, said on a conference call from his home in Puerto Rico. "It really means a lot not only for them but me as well."
The surprise top pick in the 2012 amateur draft, Correa recalled how some questioned whether he warranted that selection. But by June this year, he was starting at shortstop in the majors and leading the young Houston Astros toward the playoffs.
Bryant, chosen second overall by the Chicago Cubs in 2013, made his big league debut on April 17. The third baseman quickly became an All-Star on a rising team that also reached the postseason.
"I think we're in very similar situations in that we're surrounded by a lot of young guys," Bryant said. "I think the only expectations that really matter are the ones you put on yourself. I definitely exceeded my own expectations."
Bryant, 23, batted .275 and led big league rookies with 26 homers, 31 doubles and 99 RBI as Chicago returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. He received all 30 first-place votes for 150 points in balloting by the BBWAA. San Francisco third baseman Matt Duffy was second with 70 points, and Pittsburgh infielder Jung Ho Kang third with 28.
Correa began this year at Class AA and made his major league debut June 8. He hit .279 with 22 homers, 68 RBI and 14 steals, helping the Astros make their first postseason appearance in a decade. The youngest position player in the major leagues, he turned 21 in September.
"It's like a season that I only thought was going to happen in a dream," said Correa, who acknowledged the metal plate in his right leg caused him pain much of the year.
Correa received 17 first-place votes and 13 seconds for 124 points. Lindor was second with 109 points, and Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano was third with 20 points, the highest finish for a Twins player since Danny Valencia also placed third in 2010. Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario finished sixth.
On Tuesday, the BBWAA will announce this year's managers of the year — Paul Molitor is one of three AL finalists — followed by the Cy Young awards on Wednesday and the MVP awards on Thursday.