The Baseball Bloggers Association is conducting their post-season awards voting. Tomorrow, the Willie Mays Award given to the best rookies of 2010 as determined by the BBA, will be announced. The blogs in the Pittsburgh chapter have elected to do our own chapter voting, then to submit our two ballots to the BBA based on our own consensus. Because transparency is an important part of the BBA awards voting process, it’s my duty as president of the Pittsburgh chapter to post both my votes and the ballots that we submitted to the BBA in advance of today’s:
I hate the recent trend of giving relievers the Rookie of the Year Award. Neftali Feliz only threw as many innings as Stephen Strasburg in 2010, but Feliz ran away with the AL Rookie of the Year, while Strasburg didn’t even get considered for the NL Award even though he was way better in his sixty-odd innings.
That said, Craig Kimbrel is the obvious choice for Rookie of the Year in the NL this year. There aren’t any position players that stood out and Kimbrel was beyond excellent. He struck out 14.8 hitters per nine innings, his K/BB was 3.97, and his homer rate was minscule. His ERA was 2.10 and he had 46 saves, if you’re into that kind of thing. I’m not, but they’re the sort of things that ensure that my choice for Rookie of the Year will probably line up with the writers.
Beyond him it’s a bit tougher. There are four or five guys that had solid years that were good enough that I’d pick them before Kimbrel in a hypothetical expansion draft, but none who I think deserve the honor of Rookie of the Year over him, if that makes sense. That class includes Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos of the Nats, Freddie Freeman and Brandon Beachy of the Braves, and Vance Worley of the Phillies. For my own ballot, I took Ramos and Beachy. Ramos probably won’t get a lot of love for the award, but I was impressed with his power (22 doubles and 15 homers in 113 games) and he gets the edge by virtue of being a catcher, which is a tougher position. He’s another guy that probably would be off the rader in other years, but makes it for me in the thin class this year. Espinosa showed plenty of power, too (21 homers and 29 doubles in 158 games), but he played more games and struck out a ridiculous amount (166 times). I took Beachy next because of his silly strikeout rate for a starter (10.7 K/9) over 25 starts as a rookie. He managed that without giving up a ton of homers or walks.
So my ballot is Kimbrel/Ramos/Beachy. For the two official Pittsburgh chapter ballots, Jim at Northside Notch and Brian at Raise the Jolly Roger also submitted ballots, which I combined with mine to get two official ballots that look like this:
- Craig Kimbrel, P, Atlanta Braves
- Danny Espinosa, 2B, Washington Nationals
- Wilson Ramos, C, Washington Nationals / Vance Worley, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
(Kimbrel and Espinosa were first and second on both ballots, Ramos was third on one, and Worley was third on the other, due to a tie in the voting.)