Seattle Mariners' Kyle Lewis awarded American League Rookie of the Year in unanimous vote

Much like one of his lofty leaps at the wall, Kyle Lewis soared above the field.

The center fielder for the Seattle Mariners won the American League Rookie of the Year award Monday night.

Lewis, 25, received all 30 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He is the 12th unanimous winner of the AL award, joining a prestigious list that includes Carlton Fisk, Derek Jeter, Mike Trout and Aaron Judge.

"It's just a great first step for me, and being in that category, it's just really special,'' Lewis said.

Lewis was one of baseball's breakout stars during the pandemic-shortened season, batting .262 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs in 58 games. He led big league rookies with 37 runs, 90 total bases and a .364 on-base percentage.

Lewis also made a couple of memorable plays in center, including robbing Oakland's Ramon Laureano of a grand slam on Sept. 14. He is the fourth player to win the award for Seattle, joining Alvin Davis in 1984, Kazuhiro Sasaki in 2000 and Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.

Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert finished second in voting, followed by Houston Astros right-hander Cristian Javier.

Lewis and Robert had similar seasons, with fast starts followed by slow finishes. Lewis batted just .147 in September, and Robert hit .136 with 32 strikeouts in 23 games in the final month.

Lewis was selected by Seattle with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft out of Mercer University. He broke into the majors last year, appearing in 18 September games with the Mariners.

The Georgia native is the beginning of what could be a formidable young outfield in Seattle. Jarred Kelenic, who was acquired in a trade with the New York Mets, and Julio Rodriguez are ranked among baseball's top prospects.

"I think we got a great chance to build a really strong core of guys, and those are two guys that are super talented. Top of the scale when you're talking about talent,'' Lewis said. "I think we really do have a great chance to turn into one of those rebuilding teams that ends up having a great group of guys move up together and progress together.''

The Associated Press contributed to this report.