(SportsNetwork.com) – Election Day may have been last week, but there are
still some winners who have yet to be revealed.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America will hand out their first two
postseason awards on Monday when the American and National League Rookies of
the Year will be announced.
It might be a unanimous choice in the AL, as Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu
figures to win the award easily. The Cuban defector has picked up every other
rookie award following an outstanding initial campaign.
Abreu, a three-time AL Rookie of the Month winner, hit .317 and led all
rookies with 36 HR, 107 RBI, 176 hits, 35 doubles, 80 runs scored, a .383
on-base percentage, .581 slugging percentage and a .964 OPS.
He was not only the AL Rookie of the Month in April, but also the Player of
the Month, as he swatted a rookie record 10 home runs in the month along with
31 RBI, also a record. He also received the dual honor in July becoming the
first player in big league history to win both monthly awards twice.
Abreu was also the first rookie in baseball history to rank among the Top 5 in
his league in each Triple Crown category and joined Hal Trosky (1934), Ted
Williams (1939) and Albert Pujols (2001) as the only rookies to record 30
doubles, 30 homers and 100 RBI in a season.
His main competition figures to come from Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim righty
Matt Shoemaker, who won his final seven decisions and was 9-1 over his final
11 games with a 1.49 ERA. In all, Shoemaker made 20 starts, going 14-3 with a
2.89 ERA in those games. He also won twice in relief, and his 16 total
victories set an Angels rookie record.
New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances is the other finalist in the AL. The
right-hander was amazing all season as the Yankees setup man, pitching to a
1.40 ERA and truly dominant 13.50 K/9 over 90 innings.
The NL Award may be less clear-cut, but Mets righty Jacob deGrom figures to
have the upper hand on Cincinnati outfielder Billy Hamilton and St. Louis
Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong.
Everyone knew the Mets had a wealth of young pitching and most thought a lot
of that talent would start to come to the forefront last season. But, the
pitcher who impressed the most was certainly not the one anyone would have
When deGrom was recalled in May the thought was he would help out of the
bullpen. Injuries, though, thrust him into the rotation and he excelled, going
9-6 with a 2.69 ERA in 22 starts.
He won nine of his final 11 decisions and pitched to a 1.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
and 10.0 K/9 over his last 15 starts.
While he may not have been very highly thought of at the start of last season,
he’ll enter the 2015 campaign as part of the organization’s backbone in the
starting rotation, along with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.
Hamilton, meanwhile, led all NL rookies in runs (72), hits (141), steals (56),
RBI (48), doubles (25), extra-base hits (39) and total bases (200).
He also led NL center fielders with 10 assists and a .994 fielding
percentage, a 20.1 ultimate zone rating (UZR) and 14 defensive runs saved.
Wong was a star for the Cardinals this postseason, but, of course, this award
is voted on prior to the playoffs. Still, Wong hit .248 during the season and
drove in 42 runs, while swiping 20 stolen bases.
THE SPORTS NETWORK PICK: AL ROOKIE – JOSE ABREU, CHICAGO WHITE SOX
NL ROOKIE – JACOB dEGROM, NY METS