2011 MLB Rookie of the Year: Ranking the Top 5 Candidates in Each League

Joey HnathCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2011

2011 MLB Rookie of the Year: Ranking the Top 5 Candidates in Each League

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    Every year, a new group of players reaches the top level of baseball and impresses with his talent.

    This year is no different.  Several rookies have been very impressive in their first MLB season.

    In both leagues, the Rookie of the Year race is heating up and still undetermined.

    Here are the top five candidates in both leagues for Rookie of the Year.

AL 5. Mark Trumbo

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    First baseman Mark Trumbo has had a good first season for the Los Angeles Angels.

    Trumbo has 23 homers and 68 RBI on the season.

    Don’t be surprised if Trumbo hits 30 homers this year and for many years to come.

AL 4. Ivan Nova

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    With the struggles of the Yankees’ pitching staff, Ivan Nova has been one of their best pitchers.

    Nova is 12-4 on the season and has been the second best pitcher for the Yankees behind C.C. Sabathia.

    Nova should be the Game 2 starter for the Yankees in the playoffs.

AL 3. Jordan Walden

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    Rookie closer Jordan Walden has been stellar for the Halos.

    Walden has racked up 26 saves for Los Angeles and will be a great closer for the Angels for a long time.

AL 2. Jeremy Hellickson

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    Rays top prospect Jeremy Hellickson has transitioned great to the majors.

    After tearing it up in the minors, Hellickson has gone 10-8 with a 3.22 ERA.

    Hellickson will continue to improve and be a great combo with David Price.

AL 1. Michael Pineda

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    The American League Rookie of the Year has to go to Seattle pitcher Michael Pineda.

    Pineda has been one of the league’s best pitchers, posting a 3.77 ERA with 143 strikeouts.

    Rookie of the Year will just be the first of many accomplishments for the Pineda in his career.

NL 5. Brandon Beachy

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    After winning the fifth starter role out of spring training, Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy has shown great promise.

    Beachy has a 3.43 ERA and 114 strikeouts in just 18 starts.

NL 4. Dillon Gee

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    In an otherwise disappointing season, Dillon Gee has been a bright spot of the New York Mets.

    Gee is 11-4 on the season with a 3.92 ERA.

    The Mets’ rotation is in good hands with Gee for the next few years.

NL 3. Vance Worley

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    The Phillies’ Big Four get all the hype, but fifth starter Vance Worley has been just as great this year.

    Worley is 8-1 with a 2.76 ERA and could get a start in the postseason.

    In any other year, Worley would definitely be Rookie of the Year.

NL 2. Craig Kimbrel

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    Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has had one of the best seasons ever for a rookie closer.

    Kimbrel has 37 saves and a 1.78 ERA in the season and has been a rock for the Braves’ bullpen.

NL 1. Freddie Freeman

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    Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman deserves to get the National League Rookie of the Year.

    Freeman is batting .293 with 60 RBI this year and has been a key bat in the Atlanta lineup all year.

    The Braves have themselves a great young first baseman for years to come.