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SB Nation Awards: Rookie of the Year

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Here are the SB Nation Rookie of the Year awards, as voted by SB Nation bloggers. The scoring is five points for a first-place ballot, three for a second, and one for a third.

National League 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Ryan Braun 13 6 2 85
Troy Tulowitzki 7 9 3 65
Hunter Pence - 4 9 21
Kevin Kouzmanoff 1 - - 5
James Loney - 1 1 4
Micah Owings - 1 1 4
Chris Young - - 2 2
Yovani Gallardo - - 2 2
Tim Lincecum - - 1 1
American League 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Dustin Pedroia 15 4 - 87
Jeremy Guthrie 1 6 2 25
Brian Bannister 2 2 4 20
Daisuke Matsuzaka - 3 5 14
Reggie Willits 1 1 1 9
Delmon Young - 1 3 6
Hideki Okajima - 1 1 4
Rafael Perez - 1 1 4
Travis Buck - - 1 1
Rafael Perez - - 1 1

I voted Braun, Pence, Loney for their off-the-charts offensive numbers. The voting took place before the playoffs. I only watched Colorado maybe five or six times during the season and probably didn't get enough glimpses of Tulowitzki's defense. If I'd gotten to watch the playoffs before voting, I might have put Tulowitzki on the ballot.

Braun's defense was a complete disaster, but the guy hit 34 homers despite not even getting to the big leagues until June. Every time I watched him, he'd mess up something on defense, then make up for it and then some on offense. He might win MVP awards as a corner outfielder.

As for Pence and Loney, it's really hard to ignore guys who put up an OPS+ of 130. Both only played around 100 games, but I'm more interested in voting for guys who play really, really well than in guys who are steady. As for Tulowitzki, I saw a guy who hit .256/.327/.393 on the road. That's not bad for a rookie and a good defensive shortstop, and it's not as if his excellent work at home should be completely discounted, but this was a really outstanding year for rookies in the National League.

I didn't vote in the American League, but that wasn't so interesting anyway. If I could've, I would've voted for Pedroia, Guthrie and Matsuzaka, in that order.

UPDATE: I've been looking at other blogs and reading opinions about the NL Rookie of the Year. I think I probably messed up. Part of my reasoning in not putting Tulowitzki on the ballot was that I looked at the 20-run difference between Tulowitzki and Butcher Braun in VORP, and assumed that there's no way Tulowitzki could make up that difference. I also gave Braun a little extra credit for just having such phenomenal numbers for a rookie, and docked Tulowitzki a little further for hitting like Jason Bartlett outside Coors Field. I knew that Tulowitzki was a much better defender than Braun, but it's really tough to make up a 20- or 30-run difference between two players. I think the only advanced fielding metric I had access to at the time was FRAA, which actually did show a massive difference. But FRAA doesn't weigh play by play data, to the best of my knowledge, so I don't consider it that trustworthy. The one I usually want to see is UZR, and I didn't have access to that when I submitted the ballot. Anyway, it turns out that FRAA, Chone, and probably also UZR show massive, 40+-run differences between Tulowitzki and Braun. With three systems all showing the same thing, it probably means something. If I had known all this, my ballot would have come out completely different. Mea culpa.