BBA Award Nominations for Best NL Rookie and Relief Pitcher

The Willie Mays Award

Photo of Braves OF Jason Heyward by Icon SMI

This year the BBA has renamed their awards as advised by the BBWAA, so the best NL  rookie for 2010 is named after Hall of Famer Willie Mays (not Hayes). As a warning, please note that defensive ability did not play a part in this decision like I would have liked it to. Therefore, this is based solely on offensive ability (sorry Buster) when analyzing runs, total bases, runs batted in, stolen bases less caught stealing, intentional walks, batting average and on base percentage minus strikeouts.

Jason Heyward ATL 5
Gaby Sanchez FLO 3
Buster Posey SFN 1
Ike Davis NYN HM*
Neil Walker PIT HM*

What hurt Posey (and to a lesser extent Walker) was his late call up. Hayward and Sanchez had over 30 and 40 more games played than he did. What also did him in was a lack of stolen bases although his play behind the plate should really bring him closer to 2nd place. Either way, Heyward wins hands down.

Also of note: I did not, for better or for worse, include a rookie pitcher in this list although Garcia of the Cardinals could have gotten a fourth or fifth place standing in my book.

The Goose Gossage Award

Photo of Braves Closer Billy Wagner by Icon SMI

This BBA award is something special as we (the BBA) received the permission to use the name of Hall of Famer (Rich) Goose Gossage  for the best late inning reliever award (I took into account non-closers with the inclusion of the unofficial Hold stat which I think is more telling of a clutch performance than the save). For this award I analyzed the following stats: saves plus holds minus blown saves (do they have a stat for blown holds yet…that might be a hole in this analysis, I admit), earned run average minus SIERA (a new Baseball Prospectus stat) plus walks/hits per innings pitched (WHIP), plus strikeouts, less wild pitches and balks, wins minus losses, minus home runs allowed.

Billy Wagner ATL 5
Carlos Marmol CHN 3
Brian Wilson SFN 1
Heath Bell SDN HM*

Although Wagner didn’t have the most saves(37), he made up for it with a win differential of 5 and lows in ERA, SIERA and WHIP (0.87) and high strikeout total (104, second only to Marmol out of this bunch). What hurt Marmol was his a win differential of -1 to go along with higher ERA (2.55) and WHIP (1.18) even though he gave up fewer HRs. Wilson, like Marmol, also had a higher WHIP (1.18) and lower strikeouts (only 98), but had more saves (48). He also gave up 3 HRs had a SIERA of 2.72 while earning 3 wins and 3 losses.

*denotes Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: No, I am not a Braves fan!

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