winner of BBA's Connie Mack Award, today I get the honour of selecting the American League Willie Mays Award winner for best rookie.
There was a great crop of rookies in the AL this season. Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes was a big part of the reason the A's surprised the baseball world by winning the AL West. Chris Carter was another big part. He only got called up in late June and hit 16 home runs in 67 games. Boston's Will Middlebrooks got called up in May and was such a hot hitter he forced the Red Sox to trade away perennial all-star Kevin Youkilis. Baltimore called up prospect Manny Machado when they were fighting neck and neck with Tampa for the last wildcard spot. With him in the lineup they pulled away and almost caught the Yankees for the division. In other seasons any of these players might have been good candidates to win the Rookie of the Year. But who to give it to this year?
Oh, wait. I hear there's some kid playing centerfield in Anaheim who had a pretty good season himself. His name will come up in the player of the year discussion too. There is no way Mike Trout isn't an unanimous choice for 2012 AL Rookie of the Year.
My full ballot:
#1: Mike Trout, Angels
#2: Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
#3: Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox