Bobby Crosby. Bob Hamelin. Jason Jennings. Kazuhiro Sasaki. Immortals all, each of whom got their start with the Rookie of the Year Award. Who will join their esteemed ranks today, as the major post season awards begin to be rolled out?
AL: Multiple candidates here. Elvis Andrus probably deserved a Gold Glove this year. And though his bat wasn’t anything to write home about, it wasn’t an embarrassment, and at 21 there is every reason to expect a bright future. But the Rookie of the Year Award is less about projectablitiy than it is about what happened in year one. Rick Porcello is just as young and just as projectable as Andrus, but probably had a better season in a playoff race. Gordon Beckham overcame his own manager’s initial reluctance to play him and, before it was said and done, was about the only reliable guy in the lineup.
Beckham has won a couple of non-BBWAA rookie awards so far this postseason. If I had to bet, I’d say he takes home the official Rookie of the Year Award as well. None of those three would be a bad choice.
UPDATE: I somehow left Andrew Bailey out of this discussion. Aaron’s smarter than me about these things anyway, so you should probably just read his post. I still think they’ll give it to Beckham, though.
NL: Four guys have an argument: Tommy Hanson, J.A. Happ, Andrew McCutchen and Chris Coghlan. Because the latter two get way less attention due to their Pittsburghality and Floridaness, I think it will come down to the two pitchers. Happ and Hanson had a similar number of innings and a similar ERA, but Happ was up earlier and pitched from the pen some, which may make him seem more valuable and versatile and all of that to the voters.
I’d clearly want Hanson long term — better arm, better stuff — but I think Happ probably gets it by virtue of the key role he played on a division winner (remember: the votes came in before the playoffs started, so the postseason doesn’t enter into it).
Overall, there’s always way less to argue about with the Rookie of the Year Award than there is with the other awards that’ll come out in the next eight days. None of the folks mentioned here will be silly choices. Indeed, hardly any Rookie of the Year choices ever seem silly at the time. As the Hamelin and Sasaki choices show, It takes some years for the true humor to reveal itself.