It's time for us to fulfill our duty as a member of the BBA, and cast our ballot for American League Rookie of the Year.
How it works:
It's a weighted ballot, meaning that we'll rank our top three candidates with first place votes receiving 5 points, 3 for second, and 1 for third.
The results will be released to the press later this week or early next week.
Now without any further ado:
Elvis Andrus (SS, Texas)
Andrew Bailey (RP, Oakland)
3. Nolan Reimold (LF, Baltimore)
2. Rick Porcello (SP, Detroit)
1. Jeff Niemann (SP, Tampa Bay)
Okay, before you give up on me and chalk this up to "homerism", hear me out.
First, in the case of Andrus; of all the viable candidates listed above his stats were the most pedestrian. The sole reason he's getting so many looks for ROY is because he plays a premier position. He had a nice season, and may very well win the vote, but to me his numbers (which I'll compare to third place Nolan Riemold's below) don't show me enough.
3. Nolan Reimold (LF, Baltimore).
Reimold had the best statistical season of the rookie fielders, including Elvis Andrus. Reimold outperformed Andrus in every major offensive category:
2. Rick Porcello (SP, Detroit).
Porcello had a stellar season for Detroit and looks as if he'll be a quality pitcher for some time. Why didn't he win? Well, keep reading and I'll show you.
1. Jeff Niemann (SP, Tampa Bay).
I almost went out of my way to not vote for Niemann just to make sure that I wasn't being a homer, but then I delved into the numbers and realized that anyone who looks at it from a statistical standpoint can't list any other rookie pitcher above Niemann. Here are Niemann's numbers against the other major ROY pitching candidate Rick Porcello:
As you can see the numbers are very similar, with Niemann gaining the slightest edge in ERA, IP, K's, and opponents' average. He also had a better winning percentage ( 68% versus 61%).
So call me a homer if you'd like, but the numbers don't lie.