FanSided’s NL Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel


One National League club seems to have cornered the market on productive young talent.  Three of the top five vote getters for NL Rookie of the Year play for the Atlanta Braves.  Stud closer Craig Kimbrel and teammate Freddie Freeman pulled away from rest of the competition, with Kimbrel easily taking home the title of FanSided’s NL Rookie of the Year.

According to Fan Graphs, Kimbrel led all Major League relievers with a 3.2 WAR, 1.52 FIP and 1.94 xFIP.  The flamethrower compiled 46 saves in 2011, tied for the best mark in the NL and leaving him only three behind Major League leader Jose Valverde.  Over his 77 innings pitched, Kimbrel struck out a ridiculous 127 batters, tops in baseball among relievers.

While Kimbrel helped solidify Atlanta’s bullpen, Freeman put up solid numbers playing first base for the Braves.  On the year, Freeman hit at a clip of .282/.346/.448 with 21 home runs, 32 doubles and 76 RBI’s.

Another club with a bevy of young talent is the Washington Nationals.  While Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper may be more household names, infielder Danny Espinosa and backstop Wilson Ramos got it done at the Major League level for Washington this season.  Espinosa checked in third overall in our Rookie of the Year voting.

The Nationals second baseman tallied the highest WAR among NL rookies in 2011 according to Fan Graphs.  This season, Espinosa put up a line of .236/.323/.414 with 21 home runs, 72 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.

Here’s a complete list of NL rookies receiving votes and their totals.

The way the voting is tallied is as follows:  first place votes – 5 points, second place votes – 3 points, third place votes – 1 point.

1. Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves (92)

2. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves (56)

3. Danny Espinosa – Washington Nationals (27)

4. Vance Worley – Philadelphia Phillies (17)

5. Brandon Beachy – Atlanta Braves (8)

6. Josh Collmenter – Arizona Diamondbacks (8)

7. Kenley Jansen – LA Dodgers (5)

8. Darwin Barney – Chicago Cubs (3)

9. Jesus Guzman – San Diego Padres (3)

10. Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals (2)

11. Lucas Duda – New York Mets (1)

12. Justin Turner – New York Mets (1)

Other end of the year voting:

AL Manager of the Year

NL Manager of the Year