Every year at the end of the season, the members of the Baseball Blogger’s Alliance do their annual awards. Here is my ballot for the Willie Mays Award for the National League, which goes the the league’s best rookie.
1) Craig Kimbrell, RHP, Braves – It wasn’t exactly the most stellar rookie class this year in the NL, but Kimbrell really shined as the closer for the Atlanta Braves. In fact, he was 2nd among all NL rookies in WAR, a pretty impressive feat for a reliever. Kimbrell notched 46 saves and posted a 2.10 ERA. In 77 innings, he struck out an amazing 127 batters.
2) Danny Espinosa, 2B, Nationals – Espinosa led all NL rookies in WAR (3.5) and was 4th among all NL second baseman in the category. At age 24, Espinosa displayed solid defense (0.9 UZR/150) and some pop (21 HR) that should only get better in the coming years. His 21 homers tied for the most among NL rookies.
3) Allen Craig, OF, Cardinals – Craig wasn’t used much this season (219 PA’s), but when he played, he produced. Among rookies with 200+ plate appearances, Craig ranked 1st in BA (.315), 3rd in OBP (.362), 1st in SLG (.555), 1st in wOBA (.399), and tied for 1st in ISO (.140).