With the playoffs starting--and finishing, depending on your team--another season of baseball starts and that's the awards season. This is one of my favorite parts of the year because the regular season is over and we can finally step back and analyze the numbers. We've finally got a perfect sample size--a whole season! Here's who I think should take home the hardware.
After the NL MVP, the AL ROTY is the most obvious award. If anyone but Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay (I still call them the Devil) Rays even gets a first place vote, I'll go incredibly mad.
In 448 ABs, Longoria jacked 27 homers, drove in 85, and had a vital line of .272/.343/.531 for an OPS of .847, good for a 130 OPS+. He had 84 runs created, 19.3 batting runs, and 1.8 batting wins. Longoria was also 4th in range factor and zone rating among qualifying AL third basemen.
Using my elementary system of adding Batting and Fielding Runs Above Replacement/Average together, Longoria put up the following totals:
41 BRAR + 32 FRAR = 73 runs above replacement
26 BRAR + 17 FRAR = 43 runs above average
That's pretty damn good if you ask me.
While Longoria as the winner seems fairly obvious, it's not too apparent who will be the runner up. My money is on Alexei Ramirez due to a winning team, an important home run, and the large influence of the Chicago media. However, Mike Aviles is the guy who should finish second to Longoria.
In the complete and total obscurity that is Kansas City Royals baseball, Aviles put up a line of .325/.354/.480/.834, with an OPS+ of 116. He also played a solid SS, posting a fielding percentage 3 points higher than league average and a range factor that was solidly above average as well. Using the Replacement/Average additions, Aviles did:
27 BRAR + 23 FRAR = 50
14 BRAA + 3 FRAA = 17
Again, that's great for a rookie, espeically one playing shortstop.
Next is Alexei Ramirez. While I think he should finish third in this voting, he had a great year, belting 21 homers, driving in 77, and slugging .475. It's his lack of patience, though, that I think will come back and bite him; he walked only 18 times all year to the tune of a .317 OBP. A 104 OPS+ out of a second baseman, though, is still pretty good. Using my "system" Ramirez was:
20 BRAR + 10 FRAR = 30
4 BRAR + -16 FRAA = -12
So while Ramirez posted an above average year with the bat, his defense was solidly below average and that drags him down a bit.
So, if I had a vote for the AL Rookie of the Year, my ballot would look like this:
1. Evan Longoria, 3B TBD
2. Mike Aviles, SS KCR
3. Alexei Ramirez, 2B CHW