Little Big League

He's little. He's cocky. But now he can add a Rookie of the Year award to his World Series.

Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia(left) was named the American League Rookie of the Year. First Red Sox rookie to be named Rookie of the Year since Nomar Garciaparra won the award in 1997. (Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun (below right) was named the National League's Rookie of the Year.)

Even though Pedroia got off to a rough start, hitting only .182 in April causing most fans to call for more of Alex Cora. Pedroia came back strong in May, earning the AL Player of the Month award for May and continued his hot hitting well into the summer months as well as September and October. Pedroia played in 137 of 162 games hitting .317 with 48 extra-base hits, including 39 doubles, 1 triple and 8 homeruns. His strikeout to walk ratio was almost exact at 42 to 47, respectively, as well as having a .380 On-Base Percentage, .442 Slugging Percentage and a .823 OPS. He also put up some good numbers in the field and made some exceptional plays. Pedroia finished the regular season with only 6 errors, 360 assists and 259 put-outs.

You have to tip your cap to Pedroia for a remarkable season and ALCS and World Series as a Rookie.

Personally, I don't know about you but I don't put a lot of stalk in the Rookie of the Year award. Take a look at some of the past Rookie of the Year winners.

  • In 2003 Kansas City's Angel Berroa won it while in K.C. After losing his starting shortstop position to Tony Pena, Jr., Berroa has played in just 9 games this year hitting .091 in 11 At-Bats.
  • Eric Hinske won the award in 2002. Now he is a fourth outfielder and defensive replacement at first base for the Red Sox.
  • Oakland's Ben Grieve won the award in 1998. After spending three years with the A's, he was traded to the Devil Rays (or known today as the "Rays") and quickly got lost.
  • Remember in 2003 how we hated Scott Williamson? Well he was a Rookie of the Year award winner in 1999 for Cincinnati.
  • Japanese pitcher Kazuhiro Sasaki, from Seattle, won the award in 2000. Not only was he NOT a rookie but he had one exceptional year as a closer for the Mariners and then faded into oblivion. He is currently back in Japanese ball.
  • Who can forget the Chicago Cubs pitcher, Kerry Wood. He had so much potentional but a plethora of injuries ended his chances of becoming one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. Wood is still on the Cubs a relief pitcher, appearing in only 22 games with a 1-1 record and 2.22 ERA with a .207 opponents batting average. But he is no longer the pitcher he once was or had the possiblity of being.
  • Chuck Knoblauch, the guy who couldn't throw the ball from second base to first without it going into the dugout or stands, was the Rookie of Year during his stint with the Minnesota Twins. He became so ineffective as a second baseman for the Yankees in the late '90s that the Yanks moved him to leftfield.
That's the reason why I don't put all that much into players winning the Rookie of the Year award. There have been too many players who have one the award that did not pan out in later years. We don't know what Pedroia is going to be like in the future. He could be like Derek Jeter or he could be like Chuck Knoblauch. Remember Jeter beat out Alex Rodriguez for the Rookie of the Year award in 1996 and who turned out to be the better, overall player?

Although I do believe that Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki (left) will be a better MLB player in future years than Braun. Tulowitzki just appears to have more potential. He might become the next A-Rod and we'll look at the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year award the same way we look at the 1996 Rookie of the Year award. But you never know everyone said that about Wood.

No comments: