The actual NL and AL Rookies of the Year

The BBWAA announced the voting for the NL and AL ROYs yesterday, and well, it was interesting.

AL winner: Andrew Bailey RP (Oakland) – He was definitely impressive, was he really that much better than Brett Anderson? Speaking of Brett Anderson, how did he did up with only 1 2nd and 1 3rd place vote? As Rob Neyer points out, Brett Anderson was better (in a fielding-independent world) than either Neimann or Porcello, both of which scored a lot more votes.

NL winner: We can all be a little saddened by the fact that Chris Coghlan OF (Florida) somehow conned the voters to get the win. I mean, are that many BBWAA writers still impressed with a pretty batting average? Apparently so. I would like to be the first to congratulation our 2009 version of the immortal Todd Hollandsworth. Now, how J.A. Happ got more votes than Tommy Hanson will baffle me for quite a while too (and poor ol’ Andrew McCutchen came in 4th! Fourth, people!)


2009 MLB Awards

Now that we’ve crowned the truly uninspring 2009 World Series Champions, we can move onto the offseason hoping that 2010 offers a little more drama than the richest team in the league winning it all.

Next week, the MLB Writers will announce the 2009 MLB awards, so on that note, I’m posting my ballot (if I had a vote …)

All players listed with their WPA and WAR (from FanGraphs)

Rookie of the Year

American League:

  1. Brett Anderson SP (Oakland) – 0.12/3.8
  2. Jeff Neimann SP (Tampa Bay) – 1.87/3.2
  3. Elvis Andrus SS (Texas) – (-0.66)/3.0

WAR tends to heavily favor starters in these situations and also favors defense, which is why Andrus snuck in at #3 instead of Gordon Beckham (3B CHI).

National League:

  1. Andrew McCutchen OF (Pittsburgh) – 2.02/3.4
  2. Tommy Hanson SP (Atlanta) – 2.04/2.6
  3. Randy Wells SP (Chicago) – 1.64/3.0
  4. Garrett Jones OF (Pittsburgh) – 1.25/2.6

UPDATED 11/13: You know, somehow I completely forgot Tommy Hanson (SP Atlanta). He rolls in with a 2.04/2.6, which puts him very close to McCutchen. My gut says to rank the position player higher than the pitcher, so there you have it.

Amazingly, J.A. Happ’s WAR was only 1.8, below all of the above and guys like Casey McGehee (UT MIL) and Chris Coghlan (OF FLA).


American League:

  1. Joe Mauer C (Minnesota) – 3.64/8.2
  2. Ben Zobrist UT (Tampa Bay) – 4.10/8.6
  3. Derek Jeter SS (New York) – 1.41/7.4
  4. Franklin Gutierrez OF (Seattle) – 3.72/5.9
  5. Zack Grienke SP (Kansas City) – 6.07/9.4
  6. Kevin Youkilis 1B/3B (Boston) – 2.36/5.6
  7. Miguel Cabrera 1B (Detroit) – 1.59/5.4
  8. Mark Teixiera 1B (New York) – 3.58/5.1
  9. Shin Soo Choo OF (Cleveland) – 2.11/5.0
  10. Victor Martinez C (Boston) – 3.23/4.9

A few surprises, wouldn’t you say? I couldn’t bring myself to putting Zobrist at the top over Mauer – too many questions in my mind about the value of C defense in the WAR calculations. It was also hard to figure where to slot in the pitchers, but Grienke belongs in the list somewhere. Franklin Gutierrez looks like the steal of the year for the Mariners – adequate hitting and remarkable defense = high WAR (yet no Gold Glove … gotta love it). I was also surprised to see the good showing of Shin Soo Choo.

National League:

  1. Albert Pujols 1B (St. Louis) – 8.24/8.4
  2. Chase Utley 2B (Philadelphia) – 4.3/7.6
  3. Tim Lincecum SP (San Francisco) – 4.26/8.2
  4. Hanley Ramirez SS (Florida) – 3.09/7.3
  5. Prince Fielder 1B (Milwaukee) – 7.79/6.8
  6. Adrian Gonzalez 1B (San Diego) – 4.2/6.3
  7. Derek Lee 1B (Chicago) – 3.84/5.3
  8. Pablo Sandoval 3B (San Francisco) – 4.71/5.2
  9. Ryan Howard 1B (Philadelphia) – 6.03/4.8
  10. Ryan Braun OF (Milwaukee) – 4.73/4.8

Nothing too shocking – Pujols wins by a (not as big as I expected) margin over Chase Utley. Tim Lincecum is the on the list as the only starter. This was quite a year for 1B in the NL.

Cy Young

American League

  1. Zack Grienke (Kansas City) – 6.07/9.4
  2. Justin Verlander (Detroit) – 4.19/8.2
  3. Roy Halladay (Toronto) – 3.52/7.3
  4. Felix Hernandez (Seattle) – 3.26/6.9
  5. Jon Lester (Boston) – 2.50/6.2
  6. CC Sabathia (New York) – 2.89/6.0
  7. Andrew Bailey (Oakland) – 2.68/2.4
  8. Mariano Rivera (New York) – 3.99/2.0
  9. Jonathan Papelbon (Boston) – 5.13/1.9
  10. Josh Beckett (Boston) – 2.2/5.3

OK, anyone who says Grienke shouldn’t be the Cy Young should be excommunicated from baseball fandom. There was a steep dropoff in starters after CC, thus the three relievers in a row … and yes, Andrew Bailey was the best of that bunch.

National League

  1. Tim Lincecum (San Francisco) – 4.26/8.2
  2. Javier Vazquez (Atlanta) – 2.41/6.6
  3. Dan Haren (Arizona) – 2.95/6.1
  4. Adam Wainwright (St. Louis) – 3.60/5.7
  5. Ubaldo Jimenez (Colorado) – 3.16/5.7
  6. Josh Johnson (Florida) – 3.05/5.5
  7. Chris Carpenter (St. Louis) – 5.41/4.5
  8. Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta) – 3.35/3.9
  9. Randy Wolf (Los Angeles) – 0.69/3.0
  10. Huston Street (Colorado) – 3.38/1.5

Much like the AL, anyone who thinks Lincecum shouldn’t win the Cy Young (again) is silly. He didn’t get the wins, but everything else was hands-down better. And two Colorado pitchers in the top 10? Go figure.

AL and NL Rookie of the Year

I’m going to post my picks for various MLB awards during this, the closing weekend of the season. I’ll start with the AL and NL Rookies of the Year.

American League Rookie of the Year

Contenders (in alphabetical order)


  • Jose Arredondo – RP/LAA –  10-2, 1.65 ERA, 1.05 WHIP in 60.0 IP – A pleasant surprise for the Angels bullpen, allowing Scoscia to not lean on Scot Shields in every tight situation.
  • Chris Davis – 1B-DH/TEX – 16 HR, 53 RBI, .321 OBP in 284 AB – He really didn’t play enough to be a serious contender, but expand his stats to the same number as Evan Longoria (below), and you get 25 HR, 82 RBI. Not too shabby.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury – OF/BOS – 8 HR, 45 RBI, .332 OBP, 96 R, 49 SB – Ellsbury came in with a world of expectations, and to an extent, he met them. However, he did struggle in the middle of the season, swinging at almost every fastball within a mile of the strike zone. He is hitting >.300 again in September.
  • Armando Galarraga – SP/DET – 13-6, 3.68 ERA, 1.19 WHIP in 178.2 – In a dismal season for Detroit, Galarraga was a very pleasant surprise, pretty much becoming the most stable piece of a rickety rotation.
  • Evan Longoria – 3B/TAM – 27 HR, 85 RBI, .346 OBP in 437 AB – He missed some time to injury, but beyond that he has lived up to the lofty expectations of him, even in the middle of a pennant race.
  • David Murphy – OF/TEX – 15 HR, 74 RBI, .346 OBP in 437 AB – His season ended early due to injury, but he looks a lot like Rusty Greer 2.0.
  • Alexei Ramirez – 2B-OF/CHW – 20 HR, 73 RBI, .318 OBP in 464 AB – Another surprise, the Cuban defector put up solid offensive numbers, albeit tempered by his lack of plate discipline.
  • Brad Zeigler – RP/OAK – 3-0/0.92 ERA/1.13 WHIP/11 Sv on 58.2 – Billy Beane really pulled a rabbit out of a hat with Zeigler, who ended up supplanting Huston Street as the A’s closer by the end of the season.
How I’d vote:
  1. Longoria
  2. Ramirez
  3. Galarraga
National League Rookie of the Year
Contenders (in alphabetical order)
  • Jay Bruce – OF/CIN – 21 HR, 52 RBI, .320 OBP in 402 AB – Bruce came out gangbusters, cooled off and then found middle ground, producing well for mediocre Reds.
  • Jair Jurrjens – SP/ATL – 13-10, 3.68 ERA, 1.37 WHIP in 188.1 IP – Jurrjens was part of the Renteria-to-Detroit deal and he paid off nicely for the Braves. Solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.
  • Geovany Soto – C/CHC – 23 HR, 86 RBI, .364 OBP in 493 AB – Rookie catchers tend to have a rough go of it, but Soto bucked that trend – and in the middle of a pennant race in front of baseball-crazed fans in Chicago.
  • Joey Votto – 1B/CIN – 22 HR, 79 RBI, .363 OBP in 516 AB – Another solid Reds rookie.
  • Cory Wade – RP/LAD – 2-1, 2.19, 0.90 in 70 IP – It never hurts to have a solid, young reliever.
How I’d vote:
  1. Soto
  2. Votto
  3. Jurrjens