1977- Eddie Murray, First Base
It’s hard to pick a top rookie season when your choice is between two of the more dominant players in franchise history.
A third-round pick back in 1973, Eddie Murray made his major league debut in 1977, playing in 160 games in what would be his first of 13 seasons in a Baltimore Orioles uniform. Murray slashed .283/.333/.470 with 27 home runs, 88 RBI, 29 doubles, and 81 runs scored. He was worth 3.2 Wins Above Replacement during his ’77 rookie season, a number he would not fall below until 1989, his first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 1977 Rookie of the Year Award wasn’t a runaway for Murray who received 12 first-place votes. Oakland A’s slugger Mitchell Paige received nine votes after hitting .307 with a .405 OBP, 21 home runs, and 42 stolen bases. He was worth 6.2 bWAR that year.
“Steady Eddie” would finish his Orioles career with 343 home runs, 2080 total hits, 1, 224 RBI, and a .370 OBP. He would eventually make stops with the Dodgers, Mets, Indians, Angels, and a repeat stint with the Orioles at the age of 40 before hanging up the cleats at 41 with 504 career home runs.