As the title suggests, the Rookie of the Year balloting was unveiled today. For the third consecutive season, a closer takes home one of the awards. There is no argument here against that closer- Brave's reliever Craig Kimbrel - winning the award for top newbie. He was magnificent with 3.0 rWAR, 14.8 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 77 IP, and a 181 ERA+. To me it's pretty clear he was the top rookie in the National League. The American League is a different story. Here are the candidates listed on at least one ballot:
- Jeremy Hellickson, SP, TB
-Mark Trumbo, 1B, LAA
-Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC
-Ivan Nova, SP, NYY
-Michael Pineda, SP, SEA
-Dustin Ackley, 2B, SEA
-Desmond Jennings, OF, TB
-Jordan Walden, RP, LAA
I'd also add Brett Lawrie, a third baseman in Toronto, into the mix. Those are the nine main candidates.
Here are basic statlines for each candidate:
Hellickson: 189 IP, 126 ERA+, 1.153 WHIP, 5.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 4.72 xFIP, 4.78 SIERA, 1.4 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR, 98 tRA+, -1.5 pRAA, 2.3 scWAR
Trumbo: 573 PA, 105 wRC+, 113 OPS+, 2.3 fWAR, 2.1 rWAR, .254/.291/.477, 6.0 wRAA, 103 wOBA+, 4.8 bRAA, 1.2 scWAR
Hosmer: 563 PA, 114 wRC+, 118 OPS+, 1.6 fWAR, 1.3 rWAR, .293/.334/.465, 11.5 wRAA, 106 wOBA+, 9.0 bRAA, 1.7 scWAR
Nova: 165.1 IP, 119 ERA+, 1.331 WHIP, 5.3 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 4.16 xFIP, 4.29 SIERA, 2.7 fWAR, 3.6 rWAR, 99 tRA+, -0.5 pRAA, 2.2 scWAR
Pineda: 171 IP, 103 ERA+, 1.099 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 3.53 xFIP, 3.36 SIERA, 3.4 fWAR, 2.8 rWAR, 122 tRA+, 18.9 pRAA, 4.2 scWAR
Ackley: 376 PA, 117 wRC+, 117 OPS+, 2.7 fWAR, 2.5 rWAR, .273/.348/.417, 8.9 wRAA, 107 wOBA+, 7.6 bRAA, 2.1 scWAR
Jennings: 287 PA, 131 wRC+, 128 OPS+, 2.4 fWAR, 2.3 rWAR, .259/.356/.449, 11.7 wRAA, 110 wOBA+, 8.3 bRAA, 1.6 scWAR
Walden: 60.1 IP, 128 ERA+, 1.243 WHIP, 10 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 3.33 xFIP, 3.01 SIERA, 1.7 fWAR, 1.2 rWAR, 121 tRA+, 6.2 pRAA, 0.9 scWAR
Lawrie: 171 PA, 163 wRC+, 152 OPS+, 2.7 fWAR, 2.8 rWAR, .293/.373/.580, 13.2 wRAA, 122 wOBA+, 10.5 bRAA, 1.7 scWAR
I think it's clear here that Hosmer and Trumbo got undeserved praise and, at the absolute least, Brett Lawrie deserved votes. Hellickson winning over Nova is a great thing because if Nova won it wouldn't have been for his higher fWAR- it would have been because he had 16 wins and Hellickson had 13. Even though Ivan pitched better in my opinion, I'm glad Hellickson beat him out. I'm upset, however, that Pineda didn't win. The three short-season candidates- Lawrie, Jennings, and Ackley- were all better relative to their respective playing time than Hellickson, Nova, Pineda, Hosmer, Trumbo, and Walden. Walden's a closer and wasn't that great so he joins Hosmer and Trumbo in the bottom three. Hellickson files in at sixth in my book- he was the best of the top-3, at least- with Pineda and Lawrie 1 & 2, and Ackley, Nova, and Jennings 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
So there's my take on the vote. It could have been far worse had either Trumbo or Hosmer overtaken Hellickson, and at least this vote proves further that voters ignore wins and losses to an extent. Pineda, Ackley, Jennings, and Lawrie are all sabermetric picks so there's no shock there.