Giants’ Barkley takes breakthrough athlete ESPY

Saquon Barkley, who finished second in the NFL with 1,307 rushing yards as a rookie with the New York Giants, earned the ESPY for best breakthrough athlete Wednesday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

The Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich, the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young and tennis player Naomi Osaka, the reigning women’s singles champion at the US Open and the Australian Open, were the other nominees.

Barkley was named the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by The Associated Press and also won the fan voting for the Pepsi Rookie of the Year.

Barkley also had a team-high 91 receptions — an NFL record for a rookie running back — for 721 yards, and his 2,028 yards from scrimmage led the league.

He was the third rookie in NFL history to have 2,000 scrimmage yards, joining Eric Dickerson in 1983 and Edgerrin James in 1999.

His six rushes of 50-plus yards this season were the most by a Giants player in a season since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Among the other notable winners:

Best NFL Player: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Best MLB Player: Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

Best NHL Player: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Best College Athlete: Zion Williamson, Duke

Best Coach: Jim Calhoun

Best WNBA Player: Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

Best Male Golfer: Brooks Koepka

Best Female Golfer: Brooke Henderson

Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams

Best Male Tennis Player: Roger Federer

Best Driver: Kyle Busch

Best International Women’s Soccer Player: Sam Kerr

Best International Men’s Soccer Player: Lionel Messi

Best MLS Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Best MMA Fighter: Daniel Cormier

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