THE DAY OF RECKONING: ZIMMERMAN TO BE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, OR JUST ANOTHER ROOKIE?
[November 13th] -- The talking is done. The ballots have been cast and the results are in. What those results are, well, we'll find that out today. Where the American League Rookie Of The Year is a no-brainer (Justin Verlander of Detroit), the National League is full of fantastic freshman:
* Hanley Ramirez: .294-17-59
* Dan Uggla: .280-26-89
* Ryan Zimmerman: .287-20-110
* Prince Fielder: .271-28-81
* Russell Martin: .282-10-65
There were some outstanding pitchers as well in 2006, but I don't think any of them produced "Verlander-like" numbers -- enough to garner the award. No, it's going to be a position player, and it's between two NL East players.
Russell Martin had a "nice" rookie year, but his offense was too average. His defense was good, but committed six errors and allowed five passed balls. Not good enough. I think Prince Fielder was the favorite entering the season, and while his numbers were certainly solid, his low batting average and RBI production aren't good enough for someone who made eleven errors at first base. And although Hanley Ramirez had a fine season, none of his numbers (save his stolen bases) were the kind that would attract a voter's attention.
That leaves it up to either Dan Uggla or Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman leads in batting average and RBI's, Uggla in home runs. But there are two other important factors to consider. One, Zimmerman is a superb defender, and while Uggla performed well enough in the field, his scouting report lists him as an "average to slightly below average fielder." Second, Zimmerman is only 21, Uggla 26. Zimmerman, age-wise, is the real rookie.
When you add up all the plusses and subtract all the negatives, Ryan Zimmerman wins the award (but just barely). While Uggla will likely have a few good years and several average ones, Zimmerman is primed to be the premier 3rd baseman in the National League for another twenty years. And twenty years from now, no one will remember who Dan Uggla was.
And that's why Zimmerman deserves the award.
Marlins' Beat Writer: Our Guys Deserve Rookie Award More Than Zimmerman! Talking to Charley Steiner, the Florida Marlins' beat writer said that while he hopes he's wrong, he thinks that Ryan Zimmerman is going to win the Rookie-Of-The-Year award later today. He also said he's worried because the Nationals have announced a press conference -- the thinking being that they are going announce that Zim's the winner. Man, I hope so. But this guy says that when you look at the numbers of Zimmerman, Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla side-by-side, either of the two Marlin's rookies have numbers better than Zimmerman's. He said, "I may be biased but ..."
Yep, you're biased!
Steiner Acknowledges The Obvious: When I came across photos of the Diamondbacks' new uniform, I immediately thought, "Gosh, that looks just like the Nationals' uniforms!" I have read a few others suggest a similarity over the weekend, but Charley Steiner hammered it home on his program. Talking to an Arizona beat writer about his team's uniforms, the scribe said, "Charley, the colors are now sedona red and sand, similar I guess to the Astros colors," to which Steiner replied, "Astros? I'll tell you what they look like, they look exactly like the Washington Nationals uniforms!" The writer said, "Um, well, um ... I guess if you look at the two uniforms, ... um ... you might conclude they look a little similar." BUSTED!
I'm afraid that Uggla gets it, but Zimmerman deserves it. I agree -- Uggla, at 26, aint no rookie.
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