I posted my National League ballot earlier today and I continue with my American League ballot now. This is by far the more difficult of the two awards to decide on.
There are probably one of four guys that I think belong at the top and I have to narrow it down to a ballot of three. Very difficult but I will try my best.
1. Jeremy Hellickson (SP – TB) – He led all rookies in innings pitched (189) and ERA (2.95) while pitching in the American League East. A lot of people want to discredit his low average against of .209 but it was aided by an infield fly percentage of 16.2% (which has proven to be a skill set) and he also was squeezed by home plate umpires more than anyone I saw or researched. That aside, he has star potential and while he may have outperformed his FIP by a lot, inferring that luck was involved in his season, he still had the best results of any rookie pitcher. He deserves this award.
2. Michael Pineda (SP – SEA) – Led all rookies in strikeouts (173), K/9 (9.11), and was second in innings pitched (171). His ERA of 3.74 is very good and his FIP of 3.42 is even better. He also allowed a .209 average against and induced a solid 12.4% infield fly balls. This was more 1a and 1b than 1 and 2. Pineda could easily win this award and there would be no argument from me.
3. Eric Hosmer (1B – KC) – It was very hard to narrow the last pick on my ballot down but I went with Hosmer over Ackley by the slightest of margins. Hosmer hit .293/.334/.465 with 19 homeruns, 27 doubles, and 3 triples. The OBP is a bit low for a first baseman but the hit tool is there and the power/speed combo at his position is rare. He stole 11 bases and had a Bsr (base running) of +1.3. The defensive metrics kept his fWAR down and the few times I saw him he was no where near a -7 UZR player. He is a future superstar and his rookie campaign was incredibly solid.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Alexi Ogando, BBA, Brett Lawrie, Desmond Jennings, Dustin Ackley, Eric Hosmer, Ivan Nova, J.P. Arencibia, Jeremy Hellickson, Michael Pineda, Rookie of the Year, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Willie Mays, Willie Mays Award