ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18: Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Atlanta Braves closes the game against the New York Mets at Turner Field on September 18, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Mets beat the Braves 7-5. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
We get the jump on the "official" baseball awards, with a poll of the blogs as to who they would vote for. Two representatives are nominated from each site - this year, the honors went to Dan Strittmater and kishi to fill in a ballot, in the same way as the BBWAA ones. The categories are Rookie, Cy Young and MVP in each league, and we'll be announcing the results this week. We start with the two Rookie of the Year awards. Here's the NL award, commentary and AL award after the jump:
Craig Kimbrel 3.0/3.2
Danny Espinosa 2.5/3.5
Freddie Freeman 1.1/1.0
Vance Worley 2.8/2.5
Wilson Ramos 2.5/3.1
Brandon Beachy 2.0/2.8
Cory Luebke 1.8/2.4
Lucas Duda 0.8/0.9
Mark Melancon 1.2/0.8
|10||*Allen Craig 2.9/2.6
Kenley Jansen 1.0/1.5
[* Craig is not actually eligible, having had more than 45 days on the active roster before September 1 last year. I'm pleased to report it wasn't anyone in the NL West who voted for him...]
Dan Strittmater: Espinosa, Ramos, Kimbrel. With how impossible it is to find quality up-the-middle players, the fact that the Nationals unearthed a pair of epic rookies at up-the-middle spots in the same year is incredible. Kimbrel had a great year, but he barely beat Ramos in fWAR terms (by 0.1) and his FIP was a half-run lower than his ERA (and xFIP), so the real value contributed there doesn't quite measure up in my view. With how impossible catchers are to find, I put Ramos ahead of Kimbrel. Espinosa is far-and-away the best guy on the ballot in my mind, which makes his 18-vote discrepancy from Kimbrel puzzling to me.
Kishi: Kimbrel, Worley, Ramos. You lead the league in saves while putting up a 181 ERA+, and I think you deserve the award here. I know Espinosa was valuable for the Nationals, but personally, I just couldn't get past those offensive stats. 102 OPS+ isn't quite the sort of thing I look for in a Rookie of the Year candidate, and I didn't think that the rest of his play was enough to make up for that. Kimbrel may have gotten some luck, but he had the results, and in the end that's what really matters, I think. Worley and Ramos had good seasons, too, but I think Kimbrel just made the biggest impact on his team. (I couldn't quite bring myself to give Josh Collmenter a third place vote...)
Jim: Didn't get to vote, but am lobbing in my two cents' worth anyway. :) I added the bWAR and fWAR values to the table, to give you some objective version of value for the players concerned. My ballot would probably have been Kimbrel, Espinosa, Josh Collmenter - the last is likely home-field bias, but I'm a little surprised Collmenter didn't get any love at all. For comparison, his numbers were 2.5/2.2, which puts him in the same ballpark as most of the leading contenders. It's certainly a damn sight better then Freddie' frickin' Freeman. Insert rant about East-coast bias here...
Here are the AL awards. If you know who all these people are, you're a better baseball fan than I. I've heard of Pineda, and had Trumbo on my fantasy team for most of the year, but to be brutally honest, I'd be hard to pushed to tell you for whom most of the following played, or at what position on the field. The AL is more or less dead to me: I blame the designated hitter... I should also point out, Alexi Ogando wasn't rookie-eligible either, and he got three votes, including two first-place ones.