Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our AL Rookie of the Year Ballot

So we've been a little but delinquent with reflecting this, but late in the season, we agreed to take part in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, which is intended to be the blog world's answer to the BBWAA. There are a bunch of interesting blogs covering most of the teams across the Majors (including four Jays blogs), so it's worth a gander.

Mostly, we wanted to get involved with the BBA so that we could vote on the postseason awards. And while we were trying to be magnanimous and allow our fellow Jays bloggers the opportunity to vote on Manager of the Year (an award that we kinda hate anyway), we're jumping in to cast our ballot for the AL Rookie of the Year.

With a few weeks left in the season, we probably would have had a completely different final three, but with a little time to look over the performances of the handful of candidates, we narrowed the field down to three. And so, here's how we saw it.

1) Andrew Bailey, Oakland A's - 1.31 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 91 Ks / 24 BBs, 26 saves in 83.1 IP.

Saves might be viewed amongst the more progressive thinkers as the most overestimated stat in baseball, and as such, a lot of voters might breeze past the Athletics' closer. But we couldn't look past that high K rate, and the excellent ratio. Even if Bailey hadn't been bestowed with the closer role, those numbers out of the pen put him amongst the elite late inning pitchers.

2) Brett Anderson, Oakland A's - 11-11, 4.06 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 150 Ks / 45 BBs in 175 IP.

With much of the focus through the season on the performances of the Tigers' Rick Porcello, the Rays Jeff Niemann and the Jays' Ricky Romero, Anderson's numbers in the end stand out across the board. His ERA was slightly higher than that of Niemann and Porcello, but his K rate, WHIP and K/BB ratio were much better.

3) Jeff Niemann, Tampa Rays - 13-9, 3.94 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 125 Ks / 59 BBs in 180.2 IP.

Given the choice between Niemann and Porcello, the Rays starters' higher K rate tips the scales in his favour.

Falling off the ballot
Among those who fell just short of our ballot were the Tigers' Porcello (not enough Ks, too much of his stats racked up against the NL); the Orioles' Nolan Reimold (good numbers, but not enough to rate a mention); the Orioles' Matt Wieters (he'll be good eventually, but his performance this year didn't stack up); the Rangers' Elvis Andrus (love his defense, but hate the .702 OPS); and the Jays' Ricky Romero (wore out by season's end, and the last six weeks pretty much wiped him off the ballot.)


The Ack said...

Here's the problem I have with the K-rate argument: none of us were using that as a strike against Doc in '06 and '07 when his rate dipped into the 5.X/9 range, but still produced Cy worthy numbers.

I think K-rate is a solid predictor of future success....but if you achieve success without a great it not still success nonetheless?

Porcello has been successful throughout his minor league career without a great K/9, so perhaps he's still harnessing his stuff, and hittes can't do much with it as is.

But that's just me.

Tao of Stieb said...

Going forwards, I probably like Porcello more...but 89 Ks versus 52 walks just doesn't strike us as a good ratio for this season.

And for the sake of comparison, Doc had 204 Ks versus 32 walks in his Cy Young season. So there's a pretty substantial difference there.

SP said...

Yea I'm with you. Porcello had the highest GB rate in the AL so I'm fine with the low K rate. But I still go with Niemann for now because he's in the AL East and he had a better FIP. Porcello may force GBs but he also gave up a bunch of HRs. Also important: Niemann had a 3.2 WAR, Porcello had 1.9.

SP said...

By the way, fuck Porcello and Boras.

Tao of Stieb said...

Actually, didn't I just hear that Porcello dropped Boras in favour of the Hendricks?

Darren Priest said...

Yet another player Billy Beane will let go before his first payday. Of course, Beane thinks pretty much any pitcher can be the closer and won't pay them. Ricciardi missed that memo, apparently.

Darren Priest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul McCartney said...


Tao of Stieb said...

Balloonboy is safe!

Joanna said...

Porcello fought off a charging/frothing Kevin Youkilis and somehow ended up on top. The kid is alright.

Tao of Stieb said...

Actually, I had forgotten about that. If I'd remembered, I would have bumped Porky up to third on my ballot, just for that one judo throw.

FrostKing said...

Thanks for including Brett Anderson on your ballot. I thought he deserved the award pretty easily, but no one else even voted for him (from the AL). It's now so much that the saves are overrated as that Bailey just didn't pitch enough innings (though it's not his job).

Sven the Swede said...

Brett Anderson?
I always thought Suede was one of the most overrated bands of the 90s.

In Rookie of the Year voting I often think there's the split between "who had the best year" and "who you'd rather want on your team in a couple of years".
Pat Listach anyone?

jroberts said...

Pat Listach anyone?

Terrible vote, and not only because Listach was out of baseball four years later. How do you (Lofton) lead the league in steals and finish second in ROY voting, when the winner's main strength is also stealing bases?

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