This year, the SportsBlogs Nation has organised its own baseball awards, along the same lines as the "official" awards - two writers from each city get to vote for Rookie of the Year, MVP and Cy Young. Though "from each city" is likely stretching a point in Arizona's case - as well as myself, the other academy member was William K, who isn't even on this continent. ;-) But the combination of his blogging expertise at BB:TNG and contributions here made him a very well-qualified choice. So, without further ado, the envelope for NL Rookie of the Year please:
Congratulations to Mr. Ramirez, and in general to the entire Florida Marlins' roster for their sterling performance over 2006 - for four of the top five rookies to come from the same team is quite an achievement. Here are my and William's 1-2-3 for this award:
|1.||Hanley Ramirez||Hanley Ramirez|
|2.||Josh Willingham||Ryan Zimmerman|
|3.||Ryan Zimmerman||Dan Uggla|
As you can see, William had his finger spot on the pulse of popular opinion, even from several thousand miles away. Me, I'm surprised that Willingham didn't get any more love in the balloting, since he had the best OPS of any qualifying rookie in the National League. Sure, Ramirez had the speed, and also played a more demanding defensive position, which is why he got my #1 vote, but Willingham did almost as well in my opinion. Though perhaps I'm biased because Willingham was on my fantasy league this year - and from the opening draft, I should point out! And the American League voting:
Much more uniformity here, with Verlander's excellent job for the AL Central champions drawing most votes - should mention that, as in "reality", votes had to be sent in before the start of the playoffs. I'd probably have voted for Verlander as my #1. Papelbon and Liriano tie for second spot: the former had an amazing year, but perhaps hampered by an understandable anti-closer bias, while Liriano's season was cut short by injury (but a 2.17 ERA in 121 IP in the American League? Wow...). Boy, the Giants must really be kicking themselves for letting F-Lo go; between him and Santana, the Twins clearly have an amazing eye for minor-league pitchers.
Interesting to compare these to the Baseball Prospectus awards. Ramirez won that in the NL, with Uggla and Zimmerman swapping places. For the AL, Verlander just pipper Liriano, with Papelbon a relatively-distant third. Though elsewhere, I was disappointed to note they gave Roy Oswalt the Cy Young award in the National League. What I want to know is how Will Carroll could leave Webb off his ballot entirely... :-(