No argument from me here, as the 1-2-3 I posted, was exactly the one come up with in the final rankings. In some ways, Votto had a slightly better offensive season [OPS .874. six points ahead of Soto]. But he's a first-baseman, while Soto's position behind the plate makes his season standing at it, all the more impressive. No catcher of any age, in either league, had more home-runs than Soto, and he nailed a respectable 27% of base-stealers. Not that Votto had a bad year, with 24 homers and 84 RBI, hitting .297. Jurrjens led all rookies with 188.1 innings pitched,. and had the best ERA of qualifiers, at 3.68. At only 22, he looks to be another one in the long line of good Atlanta pitchers.
Must confess to being somewhat surprised by the lower picks like Stewart and Bruce: the former had only 266 at-bats, and benefited from the Coors effect [he hit .234 on the road], while the latter had an OPS over 100 points back of Soto and Votto. Bowker and DeWitt were even further back, and I sense some fan bias overcoming neutrailty there. As an aside, I note the absence of any votes for the Japanese imports in Kuroda and Fukudome. The latter is probably no surprise, but I did expect Kuroda to get some love in this category, even though I could never bring myselt to vote for a 33-year old "rookie" personally. Unless he played for Arizona. :-)
Okay, I confess to being the one who voted John Bowker 3rd. I really couldn't get behind any of the other choices. I thought of Jurrjens and Volquez, but didn't feel either had really terrific numbers. Neither did Bowker, I know, but when he first came up he was amazing so I threw him some love.
My one-two were Soto and Votto. They both had terrific offensive years, and Votto was playing wonderfully on a bad team, but Soto's role as catcher and handling the Cubs' pitchers to the post-season gave him my edge for Rookie of the Year.
Certainly can't argue with the winner there, Longoria being one of the main reasons the Devil Rays made it all the way to the World Series. Everyone else came a long way back: If I'd had a ballot, I would likely have put Galarraga in the second spot, and perhaps given the third one to Davis, who had a great year - .285/.331/.549, for a better OPS than Longoria, albeit in half a season.
'Charmer will likely be along in due course to reveal her ballot and comment on the results. We'll be covering the Cy Young awards, as voted for by the SB Nation, tomorrow, and then the MVP's of the two leagues on Thursday.