The American League Rookie of the Year Prediction
- Updated: October 21, 2008
The American League Rookie of the Year Award has some big names in the hunt. One played two months in the league before receiving a big contract extension, one was well known for his post season appearance last year and one even flew under the radar for most of the season even though he put up good numbers. For convenience of our readers, the rookies will be broken into the top three position players and then the top three pitchers per league, after which the winner will be chosen.
1. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays, 3B
Longoria was first among rookies in homeruns and RBI and third in batting average. He played solid in the field, especially for a rookie, and was one of the driving forces in getting one of the historically worst franchises to the post season for the first time. The Rays were so impressed by his performance that he was handed a contract extension after only being in the big leagues for a few months. He also posted big numbers in other categories as he was first among rookies in doubles, on base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS, while he was second in walks.
2. Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox, 2B
Some how, Ramirez was able to fly under the radar for most of the season because he plays for that other team in Chicago. Ramirez led all rookies with a .290 batting average and was second in both homeruns and RBI. He showed good range in the field at second base and provided the Sox with some much needed youth.
3. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox, CF
Unlike Ramirez, Ellsbury has been a household name for about a year already because of his play in the post season last year. Still considered a rookie because it was his first full season, Ellsbury did put up good numbers and was second with a .280 batting average. In the end, he just didn’t have the all around stats to win the award even though he had 74 more at bats than any other rookie.
1. Armando Galarraga, Detroit Tigers
Galarraga was one of the few bright spots on a Tigers team that struggled most of the season despite their huge payroll. The right hander had a strong rookie campaign, leading AL rookies in ERA, wins, fewest hits allowed, fewest runs allowed and strikeouts.
2. Nick Blackburn, Minnesota Twins
Blackburn was so good during the season, that many thought the Twins were going to be able to rely on him in the post season. He had a 4.05 ERA compared to Galarraga’s 3.73. He also had two fewer wins and four more losses than the Tiger.
3. Greg Smith, Oakland Athletics
Leave it to the Athletics to have yet another young pitcher in the fold. Smith was impressive throughout the season in his 32 starts although his record (7-16) doesn’t really illustrate that. He had a respectable 4.16 ERA and struck out 111.
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Longoria’s performance this season was just flat out more impressive than any other rookie in the American league. It’s hard to imagine seeing the Rays as a team that goes to the post season year after year, but having Longoria on their roster puts them much closer to that feat.