In the second of FanSided’s yearly award presentations, Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves has been named the National League Rookie of the Year. The announcement was first made over at our flagship site, Call to the Pen, where you can check out the voting totals of the FanSided MLB staff members and see the articles regarding the official award presentations (Click here for NL and here for AL).
Craig Kimbrel won the honor by a relatively significant margin in the NL, while Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer narrowly beat out Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson in the AL. My National League ballot consisted of Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, and Brandon Beachy.
It’s hard to argue with the 23-year-old Kimbrel as the NL Rookie of the Year. He compiled an NL-best 46 saves and a 3.2 WAR as the Braves’ closer in 2011, both of which are rookie reliever records. Kimbrel is the key to Atlanta’s bright bullpen future. No St. Louis Cardinals received any votes for this particular award. Fernando Salas and Allen Craig were really the only two Redbirds who warranted some consideration.
Stay tuned for the upcoming announcements of the top relievers, pitchers, and players of the 2011 MLB season.
In case you missed the previous award winners: