Major League Baseball won’t announce its Rookie of the Year winners for another month or so, but who wants to wait for that? Fortunately, Fansided has taken up the slack. The results are online now at Fansided’s general MLB site, Call to the Pen.
My first place vote went to Eric Hosmer of the Royals. I thought Hosmer’s .293/.334/.465 line looked the best of any of the rookies, and I like the intangibles he has as well. He led a Royal revival, and looks like a great centerpiece for Kansas City to keep building around as they climb further out of the AL Central basement. We can only hope that the Twins draft a cornerstone player like that with the #2 pick in 2012.
For second place, I chose Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson. It’s not every year that a rookie starter pitches a full year with an ERA under 3.00, but Hellickson did. He also won 13 games for a team that surged into the playoffs at the last minute, which was exciting.
As for third place, well…..
If you read the Call to the Pen article, you will notice that Twins outfielder Ben Revere got one third place vote. That was mine. I never thought Revere would win, but I thought he would do better than 16th place in the voting. I don’t think that it’s Homer bias on my part – I just had the opportunity to watch Revere play every day, and I found it impressive. Revere only had a .310 on-base percentage, not great for a leadoff hitter, but he actually improved as the season went on. In September, he put up a respectable .3111/.342/.368 line. And for the year, he hit .323 with a .350 OBP in the first inning. Since a leadoff guy’s first job is to start off the game by getting on base, that’s very encouraging.
Finally, I think Revere’s defensive ability should have gotten him a little more respect. People make way too much of a big deal about his arm, and I think that might have cost him. Yes, his arm is subpar, but his fielding range makes up for it. Check out Revere’s Fangraphs page, and you’ll see that he had a UZR/150 of 14.4, meaning that he would have saved the Twins 14.4 runs with his fielding over the course of a full season. Also according to Fangraphs, his arm cost the team 3.5 runs. I’ll take that trade-off any day.
Revere is no Hosmer-type cornerstone, but he had a good rookie season. I only wish someone outside of Twins Territory had heard of him!