• Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor l...

The Rookie of the Year award can be a harbinger of great things to come (Ryan Howard) or of stunning, dramatic collapse (Eric Hinske). It’s hard to imagine that this year’s candidates have anything other than great careers ahead of them. But then again, somebody probably said that about Jerome Walton, too.

Without further ado, the picks.

The NL

3. Dan Uggla (.281/.337/.474, 26 HR, 89 RBI)

2. Ryan Zimmerman (.289/.354/.475, 20 HR, 109 RBI)

1. Hanley Ramirez (.292/.353/.481, 17 HR, 51 SB)

Dan Uggla was an all-star this season and a legit slugger in the middle of the Marlins lineup. He was also solid defensively and, with the exception of Chase Utley, was probably the league’s best 2B. But he wasn’t this year’s best rookie.

It’s tempting to give the ROTY to Ryan Zimmerman in anticipation of the career he’s going to have, just as it’s tempting to give Derek Jeter the MVP award as a sort of career achievement award. Zimmerman’s got to be the surest thing among all of the talented rookies in the class of 2006. But he wasn’t this year’s best rookie, either.

Hanley Ramirez’s VORP (value over replacement player) this season was 50.7. The rookie with the next highest VORP was Uggla, at 38.6. In other words, it wasn’t even close. Ramirez hit for average, played above average defense and stole an obscene number of bases. He’s a game-changing player. And before all is said and done he’s going to be the biggest reason we’ll look back and say, “Man, the Red Sox got hosed in the Josh Beckett trade!” His biggest shortcoming is that he strikes out too much, 150 times this season, or around 25 percent of the time. But the long and short for Hanley is this: if he gets on base, he’s dangerous. And he gets on base a lot.

The AL

3. Justin Verlander (17-9, 3.63 ERA, 186 IP)

2. Jonathan Papelbon (35 SV, 0.92 ERA, 75K/68.1IP)

1. Francisco Liriano (12-3, 2.16 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 121 IP)

How do you know there are a lot of great rookie pitchers in the American League? When the top three candidates for AL Rookie of the Year are all pitchers, that’s how. And Jered Weaver, if he had gotten a few more starts, could have easily made this list.

Justin Verlander was the Tigers’ ace this season, stepping up when others faltered and leading Detroit to its first playoff appearance since…ummm…I have no idea when. But it’s been a long time.

Jonathan Papelbon had an ERA of less than one. I mean, really, how do you have an ERA under one and not win a major award?

I’ll tell you how. You go head to head with Francisco Liriano, who, along with Johan Santana, strapped the Twins on his back and led them to the post season. Liriano got hurt late in the season, but when he was healthy, he was untouchable. And there is plenty of precedent for giving the ROTY to a rookie who doesn’t play a full season. Ryan Howard won last season, even though he only played in 88 games. Liriano was dominant as a reliever early in the season and he was dominant as a starter in the second half. And he’s your 2006 AL Rookie of the Year.

No Responses to “The Kids are All Right: Rookie of the Year Picks”

  1. Coley, how many stat sites did you have to peruse to come up with a VORP stat. What the hell is that and how is it computed? Value over Replacement Player? Sounds a tad bit arbitrary to me.

    And Zimmerman’s VORP must have been huge, too. He was replacing Vinny Castilla for god’s sake.

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.
    • David the okajima: was wondering if I related too this guy?
    • HaroldHecuba: Mike Mussina is EASTERN EUROPEAN, not Italian.
    • handsomerandyblackladdiebrad1953: Plus,Jackson’s Polo Grounds-heightened batting stats,when park-adjusted,make...

Marketplace

    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:

    Archives

What's Popular

Featured posts

220px-Bbwaa_logo_web

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

According to the internet, "The Little Napoleon" John McGraw was the greatest manager of all time.

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]