The 2012 IPI Awards: AL Rookie of the Year
To celebrate the conclusion of another baseball season, we here at Indians Prospect Insider have decided to give out our picks for the major awards. In the coming days, IPI will be rolling out our picks for AL/NL MVP, AL/NL Cy Young Award, AL/NL Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Indian, and Least Valuable Indian.
IPI writers Charlie Adams, Jeff Ellis, Tony Lastoria, Sean Mahon, Adam McGavin, Stephanie Metzger, Steve Orbanek, Jim Pete, Andrew Zajac, and yours truly all voted on these awards. Not all of them supplied write-ups, but those who did are listed below.
We are starting out today with the AL Rookie of the Year. Unsurprisingly, the choice was unanimous.
IPI's AL Rookie of the Year is... Mike Trout
Trout may have started the season in the minors, but he really tore up the league once he was called up. The numbers are just staggering: 30 home runs, 49 stolen bases, 129 runs scored, 83 RBI, a .326/.399/.564 slash line, and 10.4 fWAR. The question still remains as to who will win AL MVP, but there is no doubt as to who the AL Rookie of the Year was.
Enough of my yapping, though. Here is what the rest of IPI has to say:
Charlie Adams: He's the best player in the American League. Since Trout has been called up the Angels are 82-56 and would be on pace for 96 wins. That is cherry-picking to a degree (Pujols was not himself for that first month either), but the fact is that Trout could have made the difference in 2 games and those 2 games would have them in the playoffs.
Jeff Ellis: Worst case he is going to be second for the MVP, so rookie of the year is a foregone conclusion.
Tony Lastoria: Seriously, is there any debate here? Trout should be a unanimous selection for this award after the incredible year he had, a year that some would say (and I would agree) is the best rookie year ever for a player. Wei-Yin Chen, Scott Diamond, Tommy Milone, and Yoenis Cespedes all had solid rookie campaigns, but their season’s pale in comparison to the gaudy numbers and performance that Trout had. We all were witnesses to the beginning of greatness this season.
Sean Mahon: Mike Trout; no explanation necessary. He's the future face of the American League.
Adam McGavin: The AL Rookie of the year award is one of the easiest choices of any award. Mike Trout flat out dazzled observers with 30 home runs, 83 RBI, and 49 stolen bases to go along with an eye-popping .326 batting average and .963 OPS in what was arguably the best rookie season of all-time. If not for Trout, Oakland newbie, Yoenis Cespedes would have a very solid stake to the award. The Cuban defector tallied the 2nd highest rookie OPS (.861), while posting a solid line of 23 homers, 82 RBI, and 16 steals. Yu Darvish had a mediocre 3.90 ERA, but racked up 16 wins and 221 strikeouts in 191.1 innings pitched. Jarrod Parker (3.47 ERA, 181.1 IP, 140 strikeouts) and Matt Moore (3.81 ERA, 177.1 IP, 175 strikeouts) also had great debuts, as they showed top-of-the-rotation stuff for their respective rotations.
Steve Orbanek: I'm gonna go ahead with a no comment here.
Jim Pete: In one of the most ridiculous runaways of all time, the award easily goes to the Angels outfielder, Mike Trout. Trout made his 2012 debut against the Indians on April 28th, and the Tribe completely shut him down, as he went 0-for-8, with a walk and a K. That was clearly not the picture of what was to come. You can make a case that Mike Trout's season, even without the month of April, was one of the greatest of ANY rookie, ever, and not be speaking hyperbole. He led the league in runs, with 129. He led the league in stolen bases, with 49. He led the league in multiple SABER stats, with the most impressive being his 10.7 WAR. How good is that? It would be 20th all time, tied with Willie Mays in 1964 and Ted Williams in 1946. The names in front of him: Babe Ruth (6 times), Rogers Hornsby, Carl Yastremski, Barry Bonds (three times), Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle (twice), Mays (twice), Joe Morgan and Stan Musial. Everyone on that list, except for Bonds, is a hall of famer. Enough said. I could say something about all the guys on the A's, led by Yoenis Cespedes, Ryan Cook and Jarrod Parker, but it's Trout...by a country mile...
Coming tomorrow: NL Rookie of the Year. This one is not unanimous, so check it out in order to see who will take home the award.
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Probably the greatest rookie season of all time, but you can't immediately dismiss Pujols 1.013 OPS and .329/37/130 slashes. He had a nice lineup around him, but Albert did not have the advantage of hitting in front of Albert. Trout was right in front of Torri Hunter, who had possibly his best year ever, Pujols, and Mark Trumbo who was an animal for the first four months.
Trout's season has been sublime. Now, replicate....
Trout is fun to watch, Hope he keeps it up.