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Great Rookie of the Year Article!!


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Racing For Hardware: The NL ROY

Listed in: Baseball

 

Sportszilla's Baseball Awards week kicks off with the National League Rookie of the Year. In ambitious fashion, suggested by David, I?m going to try to do this in actual semi ballot form; in other words, I?ll list my top ten finishers for the awards. It shouldn?t be too hard, except with maybe the AL rookie of the year. But we?ll cross that bridge when we come to it; tomorrow.

 

The National League?s rookie ballot was quite easy to fill; just a quick run down the Florida Marlins roster provides you with all the names you need. Of course that would be the lazy way out (would I do that?), so there are other players on this list. But don?t be surprised if South Florida gets quite a bit of love in this space.

 

Aw hell, let?s just start there. You?re going to be seeing a lot of them in this column, so you might as well get used to it.

 

*Note: All Stats current to Saturday

 

10. Mike Jacobs, 1B, Florida Marlins

 

Stats: .262/.324/.471/.795, 52 R, 75 RBI, 19 HR, 37 2B, 1 3B, 3/3 SB

 

The Skinny: Jacobs was in the running for the award after a stellar first half but his second half has dropped him into the tenth spot. Jacobs saw his OPS dip to .634 in August and then plummet off the charts to .484 in September. Like I said, he?s had a miserable second half. Fatigue may well be a factor here.

 

He?s not exactly the man he was traded for, Carlos Delgado. But since he comes a good 14 million cheaper, I think the Fish will still take that trade. With a full season under his belt, Jacobs will likely have a better 2007, where he?ll be less likely to fatigue.

 

9. Josh Barfield, 2B San Diego Padres

 

Stats: .285/.324/.435/.759, 69 R, 56 RBI, 13 HR, 32 2B, 3 3B, 19/24 SB

 

The Skinny: Who? Yeah, most people haven?t said much about San Diego?s second baseman, but Barfield been a decent contributor at second base this year in a pretty difficult park for hitters. He had a decent amount of doubles, suggesting there might be more power on the way in the future. He?s not anywhere near the top of this list, but he deserves a mention in the top ten.

 

8. Prince Fielder, 1B Milwaukee Brewers

 

Stats: .275/.354/.484/.838, 80 R, 78 RBI, 26 HR, 33 2B, 1 3B, 7/9 SB

 

The Skinny: The only thing thin on the Fresh Prince is this blurb about him. He was one of the heavy ROY favorites and posted a very good season in all aspects. Heck, he even swiped seven bases. But this year he?s 8th. The fact he plays first really hurts him here.

 

7. Matt Cain, SP, San Francisco Giants

 

Stats: 178.0 IP, 13-10, 8.49 K/9, 2.10 K/BB, .79 GB/FB, 1.25 WHIP, .86 HR/9

 

The Skinny: David will chastise me for not putting Cain with the Marlins? Josh Johnson and Scott Olson, but Cain wasn?t quite as good. His K rate, K/BB and WHIP are near identical to Olsen with an inferior GB/FB ratio and ERA. While I like him better than Johnson going forward, performance does matter, and Johnson posting an ERA nearly a full run better counts for something.

 

But this was a very good first season for Cain and one the Giants have to be pleased about. He?s going to be a good one, real soon.

 

6. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals

 

Stats: .282/.347/.463/.810, 82 R, 100 RBI, 19 HR, 43 2B, 3 3B, 11/18 SB

 

The Skinny: A solid season across the board, but since the other guys either are much better hitters or play a more premium defensive first position, Zimmerman gets the shaft this year. Tough break kid.

 

On the other hand, Zimmerman is the winner of the non- Marlins Rookie of the Year award in the NL. I take it back, congrats, kid!

 

5. Scott Olsen, SP, Florida Marlins:

 

Stats: 172.0 IP, 12-8, 8.16 K/9, 2.20 K/BB, 1.29 GB/FB, 1.27 WHIP, 1.04 HR/9

 

The Skinny: A few weeks back, Zach and I were planning to do a comparison of the movie ?Major League? to the Florida Marlins. The lead candidate for the role of ?Wild Thing? Rick Vaughn was Olsen, who even though he is a lefty, still fits the bill in other categories. Outside of having explosive stuff and at times erratic control, Olsen and Marlins 3B Miguel Cabrera nearly got into a fight at Shea Stadium during a game because Cabrera didn?t go all out for a ground ball. Vaughn/Roger Dorn, anyone?

 

(On a side note, with the way Cabrera seems to half ass his plays in the field, couldn?t you imagine Joe Girardi going up to Cabrera and saying, ?Come on Miguel, get in front of it. Don?t give me any of that Ol? bull*%[email protected]!?)

 

As for the stats; they speak for themselves. He?s actually what teammate Josh Johnson?s ERA should have looked like given his peripherals. But Olsen was a little bit unluckier with the gopher ball. While I?m a huge peripheral guy, the fact is results count at this stage. Like Cain, I?d rather Olsen going forward, but here his 3.87 ERA puts him behind Johnson.

 

By the way, Olsen was tossed from Sunday?s contest with the Phillies for drilling Abraham Nunez (couldn?t he have picked someone better?) after giving up six runs. He?s ?Wild Thing? all right.

 

4. Josh Johnson, SP, Florida Marlins:

 

Stats: 157.0 IP, 12-7, 3.10 ERA, 7.62 K/9, 1.96 K/BB, 1.35 GB/FB, 1.30 WHIP, .80 Hr/9

 

The Skinny: Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla got most of the press for the Marlins, but the team?s ace of 2006 was the 22 year old Johnson. He struck out a good number of hitters and kept the ball in the yard. He flirted with the ERA title and was a big reason why the Marlins stayed in the race until very late.

 

However, he threw just 157 innings this year and his peripherals are not all that impressive. If we reward and punish hitters based off ball parks, then we must do the same with pitchers. Johnson?s GB/FB rate is solid but his HR rate is clearly a product of Pro Player Stadium. His WHIP isn?t the most encouraging either. Essentially those are his three strikes; and unfortunately for Johnson, he?s out.

 

But hey, he?s the best of the Marlins? ?Alliteration All Stars?, beating out Taylor Tankersley and Alfredo Armezega. (It?s the end of the year, I had to get the joke in one last time)

 

3. Josh Willingham, LF, Florida Marlins

 

Stats- .281/.360/.497/.858, 59 R, 73 RBI, 25 HR, 28 2B, 1 3B, 2/2 SB

 

The Skinny: Maybe we should just change this to the ?Best Marlin not named Miguel Cabrera award?. Willingham has gone almost as much under the radar as Johnson has, mainly because he?s 27 and had stints with the Marlins for three years now. But in his first full time gig, he excelled though fantasy leaguers will find him far less useful next year when he loses his catcher?s eligibility.

 

Overall, Willingham was a solid producer for the Marlins, especially in the second half and fueled their playoff drive. In August and September he posted OPS of .978 and .965, which aien?t bad considering he played at Pro Player Stadium. He certainly made opponents pay for walking Miguel Cabrera.

 

Most years Willingham posting an OPS above .850 at a pitcher?s park would have been enough to seal the deal. But not this year.

 

2. Dan Uggla, 2B, Florida Marlins

 

Stats- .286/.343/.489/.832, 103 R, 89 RBI, 26 HR, 26 2B, 7 3B, 6/6 SB

 

The Skinny: You?ve all heard the story by now, a rule five acquisition given a chance to start who found his way to the top tier of baseball?s second baseman, Uggla is as close to a rags to riches story as your going to get in this day and age. I mean 26 home runs in Pro Player Stadium? You couldn?t ask for much more from your second baseman.

 

Unfortunately for Uggla, the very same thing which helped him vault to this position of second on my ballot, the fact he plays second base, is what costs him the award. Why? Because I?d take a solid hitting shortstop over a solid hitting second baseman any day of the week. Hence the winner of the NL ROY award is?

 

1. Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida Marlins

 

Stats: .289/.350/.464/.814, 114 R, 54 RBI, 14 HR, 44 2B, 10 3B, 51/65 SB

 

The Skinny: After watching Hanley Ramirez play against the Mets in person back in July, I nicknamed him ?Junior Reyes?, because he and the Mets shortstop are extremely similar players. Being younger than Reyes (by six months) and not quite as good, he thus earned the title ?Junior?.

 

As it turns out, he and Reyes had very similar years with Ramirez trailing Reyes by a couple a points/dingers/runs in every category except doubles, where he leads. If Reyes is a borderline MVP candidate what does that make Ramirez? A pretty solid ROY contender and well, maybe a borderline MVP candidate.

 

That?s the only guy on the list I could say that about, with a possible exception of Dan Uggla. Hence, Hanley Ramirez is my 2006 National League Rookie of the Year.

 

http://www.sportszillablog.com/2006/09/rac..._the_nl_roy.htm

 

 

He did the AL too. pretty good thoughts on it :)

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With much due respect to Zimmerman, if a Marlin doesn't win it, something is wrong.

 

Zimmerman is right there with Hanley in overall OPS, has the highest RISP OPS among rookies, has about 110 RBIs, has 4 walk-off RBIs and plays great defense. I would have no problem at all if he wins it and I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with him winning it. It's between him and Hanley at this point.

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Uggla has broken a 70 year old record for 2nd basemen for RBIs and HRs. He plays a much more important defense position and his OPS compared to 2nd basemen around the league ranks Much higher then Zimmerman to third basemen around the league.

 

Hanley playing SS a position not marked for offense normally and leading off has stats that are out of this world for a SS.

 

If Reyes isgetting looks at top 10 in the NL for MVP then Hanley easily has the RoY wrapped up.

 

Not even going to go into pitchers. Zimmerman has nice stats but nothing amazing. He has a great glove but so does uggla had a harder position too.

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Uggla has broken a 70 year old record for 2nd basemen for RBIs and HRs. He plays a much more important defense position and his OPS compared to 2nd basemen around the league ranks Much higher then Zimmerman to third basemen around the league.

 

Hanley playing SS a position not marked for offense normally and leading off has stats that are out of this world for a SS.

 

If Reyes isgetting looks at top 10 in the NL for MVP then Hanley easily has the RoY wrapped up.

 

Not even going to go into pitchers. Zimmerman has nice stats but nothing amazing. He has a great glove but so does uggla had a harder position too.

 

When comparing players rather than comparing them straight up many people adjust for the position they play. To me that's a bit like judging players on a curve based on their position and I don't like it. That's why when people mention Jeter as the MVP I laugh.

 

 

Zimmerman has nice stats but nothing amazing. He has a great glove but so does uggla had a harder position too.

 

Are you suggesting that 2b is harder than the hot corner?

 

and comparing Zimm's D with Uggla's is laughable

I agree.

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My ROY vote would be along this line:

 

1. Hanley Ramirez Fl Marlins SS

2. Ryan Zimmerman Was Nationals 3rd base

3. Dan Uggla Fl Marlins 2nd base

4. Josh Johnson Fl Marlins RHP

5. Josh Willingham Fl Marlins LF

6. Scott Olsen Fl Marlins LHP

7. Anibal Sanchez Fl Marlins RHP

8. Matt Cain SF Giants RHP

9. Prince Fielder Mil Brewers 1st base

10. Andre Ethier LA Dodgers LF

Hon Mentions

Josh Barfield, Russ Martin, Mike Jacobs, Matt Murton

 

Ethier is definitely a top 10 rookie this year

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They wouldn't be able to tell you're a marlin fan.

 

 

You don't have to be a Marlins fan to say a Marlin deserves to be the ROTY. Josh Johnson was considered the frontrunner by many baseball writers/analysts in late July to August. Once he started to take a bit of a downturn (and definitely after he was injured), many non-Marlins fans considered Dan Uggla the NL's ROTY frontrunner (some considering him the frontrunner even when JJ was at his peak). Now that Hanley has gotten on this hot streak many, including apparently the blogger quoted in this article, consider him to be the frontrunner. Zimmerman has had a great year, but some people overhype his RBI numbers. All in all, Hanley deserves the nod over him at this point (with Zimmerman and Uggla a close second and third).

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