Press Release: 2011 Rookies of the Year

Jeremy Hellickson Wins AL Award,
Craig Kimbrel Wins in NL

Tampa Bay pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, who went undefeated in five consecutive starts against American League East opponents in September as the Rays earned the wild-card playoff berth, was voted the AL winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award.

Hellickson, 24, was listed first on 17 of the 28 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city, second on five and third on two to amass 102 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. The right-hander posted a 13-10 record and led major league rookies in ERA (2.95), innings (189), starts (29) and opponents’ batting average (.210).

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim first baseman Mark Trumbo (.254, 29 HR, 87 RBI) received five first-place votes and was the runner-up with 63 points. Another first baseman, the Kansas City Royals’ Eric Hosmer (.293, 19 HR, 78 RBI) had four first-place votes and finished third with 38 points.

The other first-place votes went to New York Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.70 ERA), who placed fourth, and Seattle Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley (.273, 6 HR, 36 RBI), who was sixth, behind Mariners pitcher Michael Pineda (9-10, 3.74 ERA).

Hellickson became the 10th starting pitcher to win the award and only the second in the past 30 elections, along with the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander, the 2006 winner. It marked the second time a Tampa Bay player has won the award. The other was third baseman Evan Longoria, a unanimous choice in 2008.

The voting:

Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays 17 5 2 102
Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5 11 5 63
Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals 4 4 6 38
Ivan Nova, New York Yankees 1 5 10 30
Michael Pineda, Seattle Mariners 3 2 11
Dustin Ackley, Seattle Mariners 1 1 6
Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays 1 1
Jordan Walden, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1 1
Kimbrel is 10th Unanimous Pick in NL

Atlanta Braves pitcher Craig Kimbrel, who set a major league record for saves by a first-year pitcher with 46 in tying the Milwaukee Brewers’ John Axford for the National League lead, was elected the NL winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award.

Kimbrel received all 32 first-place votes cast by two writers in each league city to score a perfect 160 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system, and become the 10th unanimous selection, joining Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Raul Mondesi, Mike Piazza, Benito Santiago, Vince Coleman, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda and Frank Robinson. There have been seven such winners in the American League.

Kimbrel was 4-3 with a 2.10 ERA in 79 games and held opponents to a .178 batting average. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (.282, 21 HR, 76 RBI) was runner-up in the voting. It marked the third time that NL teammates finished 1-2. The others were Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jack Sanford and first baseman Ed Bouchee in 1957 and Chicago Cubs outfielders Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith in 1989. It has occurred four times in AL voting.

Kimbrel is the sixth NL relief pitcher honored, along with Scott Williamson, Todd Worrell, Steve Howe, Butch Metzger and Joe Black. Five relievers have won in the AL. It was the seventh time a Braves player has been honored. The others were Rafael Furcal, David Justice, Bob Horner and Earl Williams in Atlanta and Sam Jethroe and Alvin Dark in Boston. The Braves did not have a Rookie of the Year winner during their time in Milwaukee (1953-65).

The voting:

Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves 32 160
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves 21 7 70
Vance Worley, Philadelphia Phillies 8 16 40
Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals 1 3 6
Josh Collmenter, Arizona Diamondbacks 1 2 5
Danny Espinoza, Washington Nationals 1 3
Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs 2 2
Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers 2 2

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