On Monday the BBWAA announced the winners of this year’s Rookie of the Year Award for both the American and National Leagues. Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson was the recipient in the AL, beating out Los Angeles’ Mark Trumbo and Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer. Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel was a unanimous selection in the NL, followed by teammate Freddie Freeman and Philadelphia’s Vance Worley. Kimbrel and Freeman were the first pair of teammates to finish 1st and 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting since 1989 (the Cubs’ Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith).
While Kimbrel was overwhelmingly considered the top rookie in the NL this past season, two Nationals did receive consideration when the votes were cast for the award. Wilson Ramos – coming off a rookie season in which he batted .267/.334/.445 with 15 HR and 52 RBI in 435 plate appearances – finished 4th in voting while Danny Espinosa – .236/.323/.414 with 21 HR and 66 RBI in 658 plate appearances – came in 6th. Having a pair of players receive consideration is a strong sign of the successes the organization’s minor league system is capable of. For a long time fans have been hearing about the talent working its way through the minors. Those same fans finally have something to point to as an indication of things to come.
Also worth noting, five of the top six vote getters for the award played in the NL East – yet another indication of how competitive this division has quickly become.