Top 20 MLB Rookie of the Year Seasons Over the Last 35 Years

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Top 20 MLB Rookie of the Year Seasons Over the Last 35 Years

Atlanta Braves 20-year-old outfielder Jason Heyward made the opening day lineup and has begun to produce immediate results, with three home runs and 10 RBI.

Other recently drafted, under-25 players such as Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles, Wade Davis of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Alcides Escobar of the Milwaukee Brewers began the 2010 season in the majors.

But other young players such as Washington Nationals RHPs Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen, Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez, San Francisco's Buster Posey, Texas' Justin Smoak, Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana (.423, 4 HRs, 8 RBI), and Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman, started the season in the minor leagues but expect to contribute to their parent clubs in 2010.

With the influx of solid young talent, and many teams willing to give these youngsters a good opportunity, it reminds us here at Bleacher Report of the best and most influential rookie seasons over the last 35 years.

With 70 different Rookie of the Year (ROY) winners over this term, there will be plenty of arguments over which are the best rookie seasons. Also, these "Best Seasons" include only those for winners of the ROY, so Chipper Jones' great 1995 season is not included, neither are Troy Tulowitzki's 2007 season, Todd Helton's 1998 season, Kent Hrbek's 1982 season, or Tim Raines' 1981 initial season.

All those players finished second for ROY.

But the winners of the award in all those seasons are included.

Many of the ROY winners here were dominant in their leagues that season and made this list. However, others who made this list might not have had a great season, but those players began a trend or their arrival began a nice run of success for their teams.

It is definitely not solely about numbers, but also about influence and importance.

Winning the Rookie of the Year award is not an indication of future greatness. Only 15 of the 124 ROY winners have made the Hall of Fame, but about a half dozen others are likely to enter.

Enjoy and let the arguing begin.

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