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.)