Time again for another round of awards. This time, we will take a look at FanSided’s NL and AL Rookie of the Year choices. Last year’s National League rookie class was stacked, featuring names like Buster Posey (who took home the honor), Jason Heyward and Mike Stanton, not to mention the Mets Ike Davis. The American League didn’t have quite as much talent, and Texas Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz wound up as the recipient. So who does the FanSided community think should receive Major League Baseball’s top rookie honors?
Kimbrel was Rising Apple’s first choice for the award, and why not? The Mets unfortunately had to deal with the Atlanta Braves closer on a fairly regular basis, and his talent was quite apparent. In 79 games this season, Kimbrel tossed 77 innings, owning a 2.10 ERA (1.94 xFIP, 1.62 SIERA) and 1.039 WHIP while saving a league leading 46 games in 54 chances. Furthermore he walked 32 batters while striking 127. Let me repeat that: he walked 32 batters, which might be a little on the high side, but fanned 127 in 77 innings, good for a K/9 of 14.8 and a K/BB of 3.97. Not only was Kimbrel the top National League rookie in 2011, he was probably the best closer in the league and arguably across MLB as well.
Finishing second in the voting was fellow Brave Freddie Freeman, who hit .282/.346/.448 with 21 homers in his rookie season. Freeman is going to be around for awhile and should provide Atlanta with some much needed offense. He strikes out a lot, but plate discipline can improve over time.
Two Mets rookies each received one vote: Lucas Duda and Justin Turner. The Dude batted .292/.370/.482 with ten homers and really came into his own as the season progressed and he became more confident; he projects to be the everyday right fielder in 2012. Turner, meanwhile, was forced into action after Ike Davis and David Wright hit the disabled list and filled in admirably before slowing down. In 487 plate appearances, Turner hit .260/.334/.356 with a four long balls; he will likely serve in a utility role next season.
For what it’s worth, Hosmer would’ve been the Rising Apple pick for AL Rookie of the Year. The Kansas City Royal hit .293/.334/.465 with 19 homers and should only get better.
Stay tuned to Rising Apple as more FanSided Awards are announced.
Topics: AL Rookie Of The Year, American League Rookie Of The Year, FanSided, FanSided Award, FanSided Rookie Of The Year, Matt Kaufman, Mets, National League Rookie Of The Year, New York, New York Mets, NL Rookie Of The Year, Rising Apple, Rookie Of The Year