It's time for the least fulfilling part of everyone's offseason: awards! For the teams that had good years, it's an unnecessary feather in the cap, and for those without, cold comfort over a long five months.
That being said, they're also a source of some great controversy, since the people who actually vote for them don't have the most consistent of track records. Justin Morneau in 2006? Really?
With that in mind, we here at SB Nation have done what is becoming our usual thing and voted ourselves. Over this coming week, we'll be revealing our choices for the best of the year, starting with the Rookie of the Year awards for both leagues.
Seattle's flamethrowing wunderkind gets us started off on a pretty good foot. Putting up a 3.74 ERA with even better peripherals, Pineda has outshone the super-lucky Hellickson and KC first baseman Eric Hosmer.
The selection of Pineda is fine by me, but what's curious is the rest of the voting...
Once we're past the first spot, things get really weird. Hellickson's popularity is understandable given the surface numbers, and Ackley makes a lot of sense too, but how did the rest turn out the way they did?
Hosmer, quite frankly, didn't have a very good year, while Brett Lawrie's 171 PA were of such high quality that they actually pushed him to the top of the WAR charts for offensive rookies. Ivan Nova, too, seems like he would be much more worthy of the honor, and yet ended up with not a single first place vote compared to Hosmer's five. Perhaps it's simply a matter of having his great run come at the end of the year?
Also of note--and I am guilty of this mistake--Alexi Ogando was not in fact a rookie due to service time considerations, though he didn't reach the typical limit for innings pitched. Rookie rules are weird.
National League Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel
This one was pretty easy. Danny Espinosa may have beaten out Kimbrel in WAR due to the sheer number of at bats he received, but the fact of the matter is that only one NL rookie was truly outstanding at his job. There was nobody in the game who could pitch one inning better than and as often as Craig Kimbrel, and for that, he deserves the nod.
We'll be back tomorrow to start off the Cy Young winners with the American League. Does John Lackey's name come up? You'll have to wait and see.
Oh, wait, no, it doesn't. It really, really doesn't.