In results just announced by MLB, pitching was the rule of the day for the 2011 MLB Rookie of the Year awards, as Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel won in a landslide victory in the National League. Also, Tampa Bay Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson edged out Los Angeles Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo in a closer vote on the American League side.
Kimbrel set a major league record for rookies, collecting 46 saves in his rookie year for the Braves, with a 2.10 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 77 innings. Kimbrel collected all 32 first-place votes cast by two voters in each Nation League city. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who hit .282 with 21 HR and 76 RBI, finished a distant second.
Hellickson proved to be a durable presence for the Rays, going 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA in 29 starts, allowing just 146 hits in 189 innings of work. Hellickson collected 17 of 28 first-place votes, while Trumbo finished second, Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer finished third and New York Yankees starter Ivan Nova placed fourth.
All in all, the results were expected, as fans and experts on Twitter are currently chiming in with their opinions.
Keith Law of ESPN wondered why Trumbo even received five first-place votes:
Erik Smith wondered aloud why Seattle Mariners pitcher Michael Pineda received no support from the voters:
David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted the dominance of the NL East in rookie voting:
O'Brien also pointed out that Kimbrel and Freeman pulled off a very rare feat:
Meanwhile, on a more sarcastic note, @fakeMattRyan wondered about Kimbrel's football skills:
Jason Collette tells us how rare it is for a starting pitcher to walk away with Rookie of the Year honors in the American League:
And finally, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer shouted out his personal congrats to Hellickson:
Nothing too wild out there in terms of people being outraged by the results, so it certainly appears that the voters got it right.
But, there always next year....
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.
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