Blog Entry

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 4:01 pm

By Evan Brunell

One of the bigger surprises that the Rookie of the Year balloting revealed on Monday was just how much support Mark Trumbo had.

The Angels first baseman received five first-place votes, most among nominees who did not win the award. The victor, Jeremy Hellickson, snagged 17 first-place votes to run away with the award, but Trumbo was comfortably in second place as he was named on 11 ballots as the second-place finisher. All this despite posting a .291 OBP in 2011. And Michael Pineda wasn't more deserving?

The most basic rule of offense in the game e can be summed up in one statistic: on-base percentage. The last thing a player wants to do is make an out, because there are only 27 of them to give away. OBP is the best way to figure out who did and didn't give an out away, as it's simply the sum of batting average, walks and hit by pitches, divided by the same categories plus sacrifice flies.  That means Trumbo got on base just 29.1 percent of the time. The entire league posted a .321 OBP, which is a pretty wide gap. There's no question that Trumbo failed colossally at not creating outs. He was so bad that 40 other players bested Trumbo's OBP... simply by hitting for a higher average.

So why the Trumbo love?

Simple -- while the name of the game is to not create outs, another pretty important part is scoring runs. Trumbo's 29 homers led all rookies and tied for 25th most in baseball. Given only two players (Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson) cracked the 40-homer barrier, Trumbo is in some elite company.

In the new era of the pitcher, the ability to crush a ball deep may appear to have heightened value. While that may be the case, the fact still remains that Trumbo simply didn't get on base enough to justify his deal. And while writers may have been drooling over his power, new Angels GM Jerry Dipoto is trying to improve Trumbo's appeal to put him in the lineup with such a low OBP. Trumbo is going to attempt to learn third base to improve his versatility and give manager Mike Scioscia a way to feed the 25-year-old in the lineup, especially given third base has been an organizational issue for years.

Trumbo's playing time next year looks to be completely blocked unless he takes to first base. Kendrys Morales is expected to be fully healthy after breaking his leg in a home-plate celebration in May of 2009. Meanwhile, Bobby Abreu has a lock on the DH job, although he could eventually lose playing time to Trumbo as the season progresses. But the mere fact that the No. 2 finisher in the Rookie of the Year voting might not even get 200 at-bats with the club next season shows that while power is nice, getting on base is nicer.

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Since: Dec 2, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2011 10:16 pm

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

I thought the game was about scoring runs, by either knocking them in or scoring yourself. I like to call this stat Runs Produced, Mark Trumbo had a combined RBI+Runs scored of 152 in 573 plate appearances. Eric Hosmer by contrast had 144, in only 10 fewer plate appearances despite a far superior OBP, hmmm.....Your either knocking in runs or scoring them, and based on this despite a far superior OBP(.291 vs. .334), Hosmer was not any better than Trumbo. Without Trumbo the Angels are out of the AL West race in July.

Since: Sep 9, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 9:25 pm

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

Homeruns are the misleading stat here.  Trumbo had a good rookie season but I would rather have Hosmer easily.  Hellickson is hard to argue as ROY but Trumbo #2 is the mistake.  Trumbo has Mark Reynolds or Garrett Atkins like upside.  He will be serviceable for a short while surviving off of Homeruns then eventually his K's will dig in too deeply and he will be worthless at a young age.  There is no defensive value here.

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2011 2:01 pm

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

The question should be, how can Nova not win this award with all the pressure of being #2 in NY? What a joke!

Since: Dec 2, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:14 pm

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

Do you even watch baseball??? The last paragraph is devoid of facts. Trumbo will easily get 400 AB's next year with the Halos. There is no guarantee Morales comes back in the field or anything close to the level he displayed in 2009. Nearly 2 years away from the game can do that. The reason they are trying Trumbo at 3rd is to assure themselves he gets 400+ AB's, if Morales is completely healed (a big if). The Angels do not value OBP the same as other clubs. Despite this Mike Scioscia consistently has them outperforming their expected W-L. They defy the typical stat heads. Does CBS need a sportswriter who actually watches the game?

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2011 6:56 pm

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

Your last paragraph is ridiculous!!!

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2011 6:15 pm

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

Here's the thing.  Trumbo wasn't expected to play in the majors this season.  When Morales went down, Trumbo slipped right into the 1st base role, and performed well, despite only a .291 OBP. 

I think the 29 homers helped.  Media guys are always impressed with the "tater".

That, combined with a rather thin rookie herd in the AL caused them to look at players that in other seasons may not have gotten a second look.

As a Yankee fan, I love Ivan Nova, but he wasn't ROY material in my opinion.  Thought the same of Pineda, playing for a horrible team.

So, while Kimbrel in Atlanta was a CLEAR CUT choice, it wasn't as easy for the AL, from where I sit.

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2011 6:05 pm

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

I'm really glad that Trumbo didn't end up winning the award. Personally I think they picked the right guy in Hellickson, but I figured both Michael Pineda and J.P. Arencibia would get consideration over Trumbo. Had Pineda not fizzled out in the 2nd half, he likely would have taken the award. As for Arencibia, he represents the same things as Trumbo as far as power and a low OBP, but he also did that while catching, which is a lot more difficult position. Granted JP wasn't a stellar catcher, but I think it's safe to say his contributions on the defensive side of the diamond were more significant than Trumbo's. 

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2011 6:02 pm

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

You simple have to look at what Trumbo did for the Angels, no Trumbo no race in the west! He got SCREWD! 

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:59 pm

Why did Trumbo finish No. 2 in AL Rookie voting?

Who votes for Rookie of The Year ?

They notice homers....THAT'S WHY Trumbo finished 2nd.

Sort of like Gold Gloves are SUPPOSED to be awarded to the best defenders at each position, but ARE awarded to the best defender with the BEST offensive stats.

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