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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Baseball America: 2011 Major League Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson

Avon

Nova not calling. (ready the smelling salts for O’Connell) ~ Full 2011 Rookie Team here.

The BA Minor League Player of the Year in 2010 turned major league Rookie of the Year this season, Hellickson led all rookies in innings (189) and ERA (2.95) and even ranked second among AL starters with a .210 opponent average.

...Hellickson’s 2011 performance was certainly a good indicator of the future—especially a .210 opponents average that was better than all but Cy Young favorites Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw—and came with some historical wrappings.

The last time an AL rookie had a lower ERA than Hellickson’s 2.95 was 1990, when Kevin Appier posted a 2.76 for the Royals. A rookie had not finished with Hellickson’s combination of wins, innings and ERA since 1980, when Britt Burns did so for the White Sox.

“He’s just different,” Maddon said. “You look at his face and you think, ‘Come on, this guy can’t be that good. He’s not that kind of experienced. He can’t have those kind of pitches.’ But he does. He just sneaks up on people. In a good way.”

Repoz Posted: October 22, 2011 at 11:20 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, prospect reports, rays

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 22, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3971464)
Hellickson had a 126 ERA+. Looking at guys with 150+ innings in their first season, a criterion which misses rookies like Hellickson, that would rank 18th in the expansion era, tied with Craig McMurtry (in 224 IP), just behind Dontrelle Willis and just ahead of Rich Gale.

In fact, and I suppose not surprisingly, that list of pitchers is a pretty sad list. It's headed by Webb, Fidrych, Nomo and Gary Nolan. Eck had a fine long career but one that required resurrecting at one stage. Then Wayne Simpson, Rozema, Gooden, Mike Dunne (I don't even remember him), Arrojo, Matt Young, Matt Morris, Jim Archer, Don Schwall, Kerry Wood, Pat Zachry then that trio above. Don't get me wrong, plenty of good careers in there (e.g. Nomo made it to nearly 2000 IP; even Nolan cracked 1600) and they were almost all truly good but it's not an awe-inspiring list.

On Mike Dunne -- good reason I don't remember him. In that rookie year (2nd to Benito Santiago) he had a K/BB of just 4/3.7 so a real BABIP king. For his career, his K/BB was 3.9/4.3 and, after that rookie year, he had an ERA+ of 79.

Back to Hellickson. Looking at age 24, 150+ IP, post-expansion, his 126 ERA+ is tied for 67th with Greinke and just behind Kazmir and Ollie Perez! Lots of other good current names in that bunch -- Verlander, Danks, Gio Gonzalez and HoFers in Jenkins and Blyleven.

None of which is meant to say that he doesn't deserve the award (haven't really thought about it), just pushing back against that write-up which suggests he's the best rookie pitcher we've seen in a while.

He just sneaks up on people. In a good way.

Well, thank god he clarified that.

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