After the many days of waiting and debating, Jeremy Hellickson has officially won the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Congratulations to Jeremy for winning this fantastic honor, and joining Evan Longoria in being the only Rays players to get this award. The Rays' great young talent continues to be acknowledged and well-noticed throughout the baseball nation. Even with some impressive young players in the ROY running, Hellickson was clearly the most deserving to win the award. Jeremy's had a great start to his career, which is now just a year and a half old. The 24 year-old posted terrific numbers leading AL rookie pitchers in five stats, including ERA and quality starts. He finished the season with a stellar 2.95 ERA, 189 IP, a .210 opponent average, and 13 wins. Not only did Hellickson's terrific stats prove him to be the best AL rookie pitcher, but also probably the best #3 starter in baseball. Hellickson's contribution to the team's success is what I found the most amazing about his great rookie season. In the midst of the Rays great comeback, Hellboy won 5 consecutive starts against AL East opponents. His ability to perform in the clutch is what really separated him from his two main competitors in the voting; Mark Trumbo and Eric Hosmer. The Angels' Trumbo and the Royals' Hosmer both had excellent seasons for their respective teams. Still the BWAA were able to notice Hellickson as the deserving player for the award, as the voting results ended up as a landslide:
Hopefully there will be more Rays names to hit the MLB Award spotlight in the next couple of weeks. Maddon is the front runner for the AL Manager of the Year Award, which is announced on Thursday. Besides Maddon, it doesn't look like there'll be any more Rays (non-team) awards. But looking ahead to next year, it's very possible that another Ray rookie will be named the 2012 ROY. Matt Moore and Desmond Jennings are two bright rookies who have already made a splash in the 2011 season. It's always exciting for a Rays fan to know how much great things are awaiting in the next year.