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2009 SB Nation Baseball Awards: Rookie of the Year

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I'm technically a day behind the SBN sites who participated in the voting, but yesterday's fantastic post deserved its own full day. If you are a Rays fan who just registered for AN for the trade discussion, please feel free to participate in the post below.

This year, SB Nation took a vote on the major baseball award categories and I thought Rookie of the Year would mean the most to AN. Obviously, our very own Andrew Bailey is up for the award, which will be announced next week.

Here are the results of the SB Nation poll; Bailey received the highest number of first place votes, but ultimately lost out to Elvis Andrus.

Rk Player Team 1st 2nd 3rd Pts
1 Elvis Andrus Texas Rangers 6 9 6 63
2 Andrew Bailey Oakland Athletics 11 1 3 61
3 Jeff Niemann Tampa Bay Rays 3 5 3 33
4 Rick Porcello Detroit Tigers 2 7 2 33
5 Brett Anderson Oakland Athletics 5 1 3 31
6 Gordon Beckham Chicago White Sox 1 2 8 19
7 Nolan Reimold Baltimore Orioles 1 - 1 6
8 Matt Wieters Baltimore Orioles - 1 3 6
9 Brad Bergesen Baltimore Orioles - 1 - 3
10 Ricky Romero Toronto Blue Jays - 1 - 3
11 Travis Snider Toronto Blue Jays - 1 - 3

 

One of those first place votes was mine.

I wrote this piece on Bailey in early September, comparing his numbers to Huston Street's ROY numbers in 2005. Bailey has since surpassed these numbers, which would have given him the award four years ago. However, this year's A's closer is up against a deserving Andrus, and the tough pitching competition of Niemann and Porcello.

There is no real way to tell which way the voters will go until the award is announced, but I am even more convinced now than I was in September that Andrew Bailey deserves the award. And not because I'm comparing Bailey to other rookies, but because I'm comparing him to the very best closers in the league.

The Bill James Handbook shows us the numbers (out of top 10):

Relief Opp Batting Average

Bailey #1
Nathan #2
Rivera #9

Relief Earned Run Average

Rivera #2
Bailey #3
Nathan#6

Rel Opp BA w/ Runners On

Rivera #1
Nathan #2
Bailey #4

Strikeout/Hit Ratio

Nathan #1
Bailey #4

Relief Opp On Base Pct.

Bailey #2
Rivera #4
Nathan #5

Relief Opp Slugging Avg.

Bailey #2
Nathan #6
Rivera #9

Bailey wasn't just good this year; he was great. But he has a few disadvantages that may cost him the award.

1) The A's weren't competitive this year. At any point.
2) Bailey didn't become the team closer until well into the season. He missed several save ops, and 30+ saves may have been the difference in securing that first place vote.
3) He is up against some stiff competition; including fellow pitchers.

Was he good enough in 2009 on a bad team to overcome the odds? Do you agree or disagree with the SB Nation blogger votes? Who do you think will win the ROY?