Freddie Freeman, Mark Trumbo and the Shortlist for Rookie of the Year Honors

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Freddie Freeman, Mark Trumbo  and the Shortlist for Rookie of the Year Honors
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Rookie of the Year award is a fickle thing.

Sometimes, as in the case of Cal Ripken Jr. (1982), Jackie Robinson (1947), Rod Carew (1967), and Derek Jeter (1996), it portends future success ending in a Hall of Fame ceremony and your likeness carved out of bronze in Cooperstown. Other times, as in the cases of Marty Cordova (1995), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000), and Bob Hamelin (1994), it provides the highlight of an otherwise anonymous career.

Even for the most recent winners, success has been hard to find. Justin Verlander, Dustin Pedroia and Evan Longoria, who took home the A.L. honor in succession from 2006-08, have gone on to become multiple-time All-Stars, while the National League winners from 2008 and 2009, Geovany Soto and Chris Coghlan, have struggled to keep their starting jobs.

As such, it wouldn't make sense to try to predict which of the 2011 ROY candidates will go on to have long-term success, but rather try to determine which of the very talented pool of players has earned the right to be called the top rookie from each league for their performance on the field this season.

Let us begin our quest to find the probable American and National League Rookies of the Year.

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