Jeremy Hellickson thought about winning the award and how much he really wanted it. He also knew that there would be competition from others in the league that could prevent him from taking home the honors.
On Monday afternoon, the thought of winning the award was no longer a thought, but a reality as Jeremy Hellickson was named the 2011 Rookie of the Year for the American league by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Two members of the BBWAA in each American League city vote for three players with the players receiving five points for a first place vote, three for a second place vote and one for a third place vote.
Hellickson earned 17 of the 28 first place votes, finishing with 102 points. Mark Trumbo, first baseman of the Angels received five first place votes and 63 points for the second place finish. Trumbo had an outstanding season batting .254 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI.
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (.293, 19 home runs, 78 RBIs) was third with 38 points (four first-place votes). Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.70 ERA) was fourth with 30 points (one first-place vote). Desmond Jennings of the Rays received one third-place vote and was tied for seventh.
“There was no wrong choice,” said Hellickson. “Trumbo and Hosmer are both definitely well-deserving. I played against both those guys.”
Hellickson becomes just the second Rays’ player in history to win the award, joining Evan Longoria who took home the honors in 2008. As well, he becomes the 10th and just the second American League starting pitcher to win the award in the last 30 years, joining Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers who won in 2006.
The last qualifying AL rookie (minimum 162 innings pitched) to finish with a lower ERA was Kevin Appier of the Kansas City Royals in 1980 who posted an ERA of 2.76.
The 24-year-old went 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA (189 IP, 62-ER) in 29 starts this past season. He led all major league rookies with a 2.95 ERA (was eighth in the AL), innings pitched (189), games started (29) quality starts (20), opponents’ batting average (.210) and tied for second in wins (13). After the All-Star break he ranked third among ALstarters with a 2.64 ERA (85.1 IP, 25-ER).
The .210 opponents’ average ranked him third in the majors behind Verlander (.192) and Clayton Kershaw (.207) of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Additionally, Hellickson earned the AL Pitcher of the Month and AL Rookie of the Month.
Hellickson began season going 7-3 in his first 11 starts, which included a complete game shutout over the Orioles in May and was undefeated in five consecutive starts in September – all against the East opponents.
“I was definitely very excited,” Hellickson said. “It’s something I really wanted to win. Three or four other guys, I felt, were definitely deserving, so I’m definitely very excited.”
The National League Rookie of the Year honors went to Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. He received all 32 first-place votes (160 points) finishing ahead of Braves teammate Freddie Freeman (70 points).
Kimbrel set a Major League rookie record with 46 saves and limited opponents to a .178 batting average and recorded 127 strikeouts in just 77 innings.
Schedule of MLB Awards
- Tuesday, Nov. 15: AL Cy Young
- Wednesday, Nov. 16: AL, NL Managers
- Thursday, Nov. 17: NL Cy Young
- Monday, Nov. 21: NL MVP
- Tuesday, Nov. 22: AL MVP
For more info:Tampa Bay Rays, Jeremy Hellickson
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