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Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
Called an audible on this one.
When the ballots were distributed to the staff, the presumption, as we had heard over the winter, was that CarGo would be in center field. Shortly after the ballots were tabulated, the Rockies made their announcement that Gonzalez would, in fact, stay in left.
Needless to say, I believe Gonzalez would have been the top selection had he been on the ballot as a left fielder. The top choice prior to this was Carl Crawford of the Dodgers. How many would put Crawford ahead of CarGo?
And Gonzalez can hit, field, run, change out the drawers at the concessions, make cotton candy, sell peanuts, you get the idea.
Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
So with the audible for left field, and seeing as Carlos Gonzalez was the original top choice for center, we delve to who finished in second on our ballots. That would be Kemp. And that was one of the surprises of the voting. With Gerardo Parra and Angel Pagan in the mix, I thought the race for second (in this case) would be a little closer.
No question that a healthy Matt Kemp is one of baseball’s finest. He was limited to just 73 games and 290 PA and his offensive production was a far cry from the numbers he had posted in the previous two seasons.
A healthy Matt Kemp may be exactly what the Dodgers need in order to make all those expenditures pay off.
Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
Puig snagged eight of the ten first-place nods with Giants right fielder Hunter Pence receiving the other two.
Say what you will about all the antics on the field and the issues off the field, but there was simply no more exciting player last season than Puig. Yes, it got under my skin a bit as well, but the talent is immense.
He finished second to Miami’s Jose Fernandez for the NL Rookie of the Year after posting a season of .319/.391/.534 with 19 HR and 42 RBI in 432 PA. He also swiped 11 bags.
There is that issue in regards to his weight…
Puig, LAD; Pence, SF; Cuddyer, COL; Ross, ARI; Smith, SD