Blog Entry

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

Posted on: November 14, 2011 2:09 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 2:40 pm
Hellickson, Kimbrel

By Evan Brunell

While the NL was saturated with quality rookies, there was one clear candidate that stood out: closer Craig Kimbrel.

On Monday, Kimbrel's excellent season was recognized as he was named NL Rookie of the Year. Over in the American League, Jeremy Hellickson took home the award.

Rookie of the Year
The Rookie of the Year award voting went exactly as Scott Miller predicted.
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Kimbrel's 46 saves blew past the previous rookie record for saves, set by Neftali Feliz in 2010 with 40 saves. While Kimbrel was lucky enough to both hold off and benefit from dominant setup man Johnny Venters, he was wholly deserving of the award. The righty struck out an incredible 127 batters in 77 innings, posting a 2.10 ERA.

The 23-year-old beat out two of his teammates in first baseman Freddie Freeman and starter Brandon Beachy for the honors. He also had to hold off Phillies starter Vance Worley and Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa. The last time an Atlanta player won Rookie of the Year was in 2000, when Rafael Furcal took home the win.

Kimbrel's victory was historic, as he paired with Freeman to finish 1-2 in the voting. It's the first time since 1989 that a team was represented with the top two finishers. The Cubs' Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith were the last to accomplish the feat, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Not just that, but Kimbrel won unanimously, handing him the first unanimous vote since Albert Pujols' victory in 2001.

Hellickson, who now pairs with teammate Evan Longoria (2008) as the only Rays to win the award, 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. If Tampa Bay had an average defense, Hellickson probably falls out of the top spot for the award, but it's not as if Hellickson's luck wasn't deserved. He led all rookies in innings pitched and some credit for his BABIP luck has to be attributed to Hellickson, who had the lowest opponent batting average among all rookies as well.

Hellickson beat out Mariners starter Michael Pineda and Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer for the honor. His closest competition was Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo, who received five first-place votes. Hosmer received four, with Ivan Nova of the Yankees taking home one along with Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley.

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Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2011 10:13 am

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

That is exactly right, we Yankee fans do expect to win the World Series every year, and we also expect to win every award out there, and fans from other teams who do not expect that for their team get just that something less.  How satisfying it is to expect greatness for the team we root for and have management and the coaches deliver year after year.  Fans of other teams should demand that their ownership try just as hard as Yankee management, and not settle for the money and put a subpar product on the field knowing that they have no chance of competing.  Nova was easily the most impressive rookie in the AL, their is a bias against the Yankees by writer and reporter, and it shows.  No matter Nova you will have a WS ring while Hellickson and Kimbrel will forever want to trade places with you, and who knows just maybe after they have priced themselves out of their current market they too will wind up pitching for the YANKEES.

A 16-3 record 3.66 ERA in 27 GS 164 IP with 98 SO, yeah Nova number were good enough for him to be ROY, but the Yankees bias held true.     

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 7:41 am

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

Yes, there must be a conspiracy against the Yankees. It couldn't possibly be that Nova had a higher ERA, less K's  and only won 16 games because he pitched for an explosive offense or that Yankee fans have a built in sense of entitlement that their players should win the World Series and every award every year.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 4:47 am

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year one is saying ESPN is anti-NY...if you could read, the assertion was that the Sports Writers are anti-NY...and that has clearly been true.  As for Jeter getting a gold glove...he didn't get it...Aybar did!  And when Jeter received it in 2010, he actually earned it in every defensive category!  How about A-Gon and Pedey getting Gold Gloves over Tex and Cano?  I'm sure you think that's myopic too!  Truth is A-Gon and Pedey can't get to half of the balls that Tex and Robbie get to.  And Cano has twice the arm of Pedey!

It's easy to cite 3 statistical categories that put Heli on top ov Nova.  I could do the same for Nova over Heli.  What's the point?  You'll always hate NY right along with the Sports Writers of America.

In the end all that really matters is how many championships a team wins!

How's #27 cutting it? 

Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:09 am

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

Lots of excellent rookies in the AL.  When it's all said and done, I think Hosmer, Ackley and Lawrie will be the perennial All Stars, but Weeks, Hellickson and Pineda are going to terrific as well.

Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:08 am

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

Holy s h i t.  Are you f'in kidding me?  "anti-NY National Press"????  What world have you been living in?  The Yankees are on ESPN every freakin' Sunday night, their games are covered ad nauseum by ESPN, their players are voted and added to All Star games even when they are having down years and they get gold glove winners that are ridiculous (Jeter being the worst last year).

You say Nova has better stuff?  That's not what the scouts say...and Nova DEFINITELY did not have better numbers.  ERA - Hellickson 2.95 to Nova 3.70, WHIP - Hellickson 1.15 to Nova 1.33 and Batting Avg against, Hellickson .210 to Nova .258.  Those really are very close so for you to say that Nova has better stuff and numbers is pretty ludicrous.

Your CC vs. Verlander opinion is probably even more ridiculous.  CC got 33 starts, that's every 5th day.  He did not get skipped over and screwed out of several starts.

Wow, you are a typical myopic Yankees fan.

Since: Dec 14, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:01 am

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

Ooops. Meant Kimbrell, not Hellickson obviously.

Since: Dec 14, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:59 pm

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

If Hellickson struck out an "incredible" 127 in 77 innings (14.7 per 9 innings), how would you describe Kenley Jansen who struck out 96 in 53 2/3 innings, which is 16.1 per 9 innings? Just sayin.

Since: Jul 24, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:55 pm

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

another disgrace  hellickson will be a journeyman in a few years....but im still sick how queen felix won the cy young last year in one of the biggest atrocities baseball has ever seen

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:01 pm

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

Hellickson over Nova.......what are you guys smoking?
Apparently, not new york city diesel...

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: November 14, 2011 7:45 pm

Hellickson, Kimbrel named Rookie of the Year

Hellickson over Nova.......what are you guys smoking?

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