The American League Rookie of the Year Award. An award that has been familiar with Rays players for the past 3 years. This year the Rays have two strong candidates, one who I think deserves to win the award. The two guys are Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson, who was a ROY candidate in 2010.
When it comes to the best rookie pitcher, I don’t think it’s much of an argument. The “Hellboy” has the best statistics; with the lowest ERA and most innings pitched of all AL rookie pitchers. Sadly, many baseball fans around the country still have failed to recognize that the underrated Hellickson is the best rookie pitcher in the American League. Many assume that Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova is the best rookie pitcher, because of his astonishing 15-4 record. Even though Nova is having a pretty good rookie season, the run support from the big New York bats is the reason for that record. Nova’s ERA is a full run higher, with 26 less innings pitched than Jeremy. And if strikeouts is a stat you value in these debates, Hellickson has the 2nd most K’s of AL rookies and 22 more punchouts than Nova. Young fireballer Michael Pineda of the M’s is the third pitcher in the running for Rookie of the Year. The 22 year old, 6-foot 7 Pineda has already shown that he has some of the best stuff in league. To be fair, his win-loss record is not a legitimate in his case because of being on one of the worst teams. But he still has 9 wins with a 3.74 ERA, and leads all AL rookies in strikeouts with an impressive 163 K’s. I think Pineda will one day be one of MLB’s premier pitchers. Still the ERA (the most important pitching stat), is nowhere near Hellickson’s.
On the other side of things, there are some offensive players that get in the way of a potential ROY award for Hellickson. Besides Desmond Jennings, some names include Brett Lawrie, Eric Hosmer, Mark Trumbo, and Dustin Ackley. Lawrie and Jennings both have the same problem. They have both played under 50 games (Lawrie with 30), not close to a full season. Still their impressive (and similiar) stats have put them in the arguement. They both are hitting over .310, with 20+ RBI’s and 8 homers each. Jennings has already racked up 15 steals and 50 hits.
The Royals Eric Hosmer, and the Angels Mark Trumbo have both produced a bunch of runs for their respective teams. Hosmer has knocked in 65 runs, while also hitting a solid .287. Trumbo has hit 26 bombs and 80 RBI’s, but his .258 average will hurt him in the voting. Dusting Ackley has played 69 games for Seattle at second base, and is batting a high .301 average. With all these rookie bats, I still think Jeremy Hellickson is the player that deserves this award. If Jennings or Lawrie played 100+ games, than we might have a much different story. If one of those two doesn’t win this year, they will have a terrific shot in 2012.
I would like to see what the readers think, leave your vote on the poll below: