By Evan Brunell
In a race to the end, Jeremy Hellickson has emerged as the American League's top rookie, giving their Rays their second Rookie of the Year.
Hellickson, who now pairs with teammate Evan Longoria (2008) as victors, entered the season with high expectations. Tampa Bay dealt away top pitcher Matt Garza in anticipation of Hellickson stepping in seamlessly, which he certainly did. In 29 starts, he posted a 2.95 ERA. He was actually very lucky, as he struck out just 117 and walked 72, but the Rays' dazzling defense behind him didn't disappoint. Hellickson gave up just 22.1 percent of all batted balls for hits, which is remarkably below the league average of 29 to 30 percent.
But while Hellickson's peripherals pointed to a poorer season than it may have otherwise appeared, the righty still put up remarkable numbers and is poised to break out into an ace in the coming seasons.
Hellickson beat out Mariners starter Michael Pineda and Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, among others, for the honor.
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