The Baseball Writers Association of America released their Rookies of the Year award winners this afternoon, naming Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves in the NL and Jeremy Hellickson of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL. Kimbrel is just the 10th ever unanimously chosen Rookie of the Year. That's quite the honor for the young Braves closer that the Washington Nationals will have to face for years to come. But on to the Nats...
Danny Espinosa was considered a top tier ROY candidate at the beginning of the 2011 season. This was especially true in June, when Espi hit .274 and put up an outstanding .848 OPS. Espinosa tapered off significantly after the All-Star Break, though he did match his .274 June average in September. Espinosa's defense will certainly earn him accolades in the future, but there was little change he was going to keep up with one of the best closer in baseball, who just happened to be a rookie. In the end, Espinosa earned a 2nd place vote for a total of 3 points and the 6th place finish.
Wilson Ramos entered the minds of people across baseball for very different reasons over the course of the last few days, so it was easy for people to forget that he had an absolutely outstanding rookie season for the Nationals. He finished the year with a .269/.334/.445 slash line, 15 home runs, and 52 RBI. Ramos also came into his own as the Nats backstop with a young pitching staff under the mentorship of his idol, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. Ramos ended up with one 2nd place vote and three 3rd place votes for a total of 6 points and the 4th place finish.
For the Nats to have two of the top eight candidates for the highest award for rookies in baseball is a high honor, and the team should certainly have more to come in that category when Bryce Harper makes his big league debut. For now, congrats to the two Nats rookies that we all hope will be with the team for years to come. Here are the top 8 in the NL:
|Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves||32||160|
|Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves||21||7||70|
|Vance Worley, Philadelphia Phillies||8||16||40|
|Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals||1||3||6|
|Josh Collmenter, Arizona Diamondbacks||1||2||5|
|Danny Espinoza, Washington Nationals||1||3|
|Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs||2||2|
|Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers||2||2|