Outstanding drafting and a good farm system are the keys to building a winning organization. Today, the Rays were rewarded for their efforts, as Jeremy Hellickson was named the Rookie Of The Year . Hellickson had a solid season, going 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA. However, he did have a FIP of 4.44 and a WAR of 1.4, so it’s clear Hellickson benefited from a bit of luck. Regardless, it was a solid debut season for the right hander.
Despite the advancement of sabermetrics, as seen in the Cy Young victories of Zach Greinke and Felix Hernandez, it’s looking like pitchers are being rewarded (or unfairly punished) based on their win/loss records. Seattle’s Michael Pineda struck out more than a batter an inning, showed better control than Hellickson, and allowed fewer home runs. He did a better job on the things a pitcher can control than Hellickson, but couldn’t maintain a winning record because the Seattle offence was brutal.
Regardless, Hellickson, the former fourth round draft pick, was a deserving candidate. He was the favourite before the season started, and he earned 17 of the 28 first place votes to take home the prize. His future looks extremely bright, and he should be a key component of the Rays rotation.
In the National League, fireballing closer Craig Kimbrel was named the Rookie Of The Year. Kimbrel put up video game type numbers, striking out nearly 15 batters per 9 innings, allowing a 2.10 ERA and saving 46 games. He averaged an incredible 96 MPH on his fastball, and while he struggled towards the end of the season, the Braves have to be ecstatic that Kimbrel has developed into the best non-Rivera closer in the game.
Fellow Brave Freedie Freeman was second in the NL voting. The Braves 1B hit 282/346/448 with 21 homers and 76 ribbies.