Last week I posted my ballot for the first BBA award of the season, the Connie Mack award for Top Manager. Today I make my choice for the top rookie in the American League, The Willie Mays Award.
Like the previous award I have to put three names on the ballot. Here are my three:
1st Place: Jeremy Hellickson, Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays. Hellickson is my choice to win the award because, although he had only a 13-10 won-loss record, his ERA was a sparkling 2.95. He also struck out 117 batters and waked 72. Hellickson is another in a long line of Rays pitchers that continue to keep that team in the running to make the playoffs. Too bad they can't afford to keep any of them long term.
2nd Place: Eric Hosmer, First Base, Kansas City Royals. This kid made his debut for the Royals early in the season against my Yankees. I was impressed with him them and I'm still impressed with him now. He led all rookies with 153 hits and was second among them with a .293 average. He is probably the best thing to come along for the Royals since Carlos Beltran.
3rd Place: Ivan Nova, Pitcher, New York Yankees. Ivan Nova led all rookie pitchers with 16 wins and was second only to Hellickson in ERA (3.70). He didn't lose a game after mid-June, and didn't let a mid-season demotion set him back. Nova was so good down the stretch that he earned a spot in the postseason rotation as the number two starter. He truly earned his nickname: Super Nova.
Okay, then. Next award: The Rich Gossage Award for Top Reliever. Hopefully I will be able to post my votes for it later this week.