Here’s a big hint: the aces dominated the rookie squad by far this season when it all boiled down to the 2011 Rookie of the Year Awards. If you need a refresher, click the links to MLB.com below to familiarize yourself with the American League and National League Rookie of the Year candidates.
The National League Rookie of the Year was awarded to Atlanta Braves Craig Kimbrel, who unanimously won with 32 first place votes. Mark Bowman of MLB.com wrote:
Feeding off the experience he gained during the final month of the 2010 season and that year’s playoffs, Kimbrel found immediate comfort this past season and proved to be one of the game’s top closers. He set a Major League rookie record with 46 saves and recorded 127 strikeouts in 77 innings.
Kimbrel limited opponents to a .178 batting average and recorded 14.84 strikeouts per nine innings, joining Carlos Marmol (2010), Eric Gagne (’03) and Billy Wagner (1998 and ’99) as the only pitchers to post at least 14 strikeouts per nine innings and notch at least 30 saves in the same season.
The American League Rookie of the Year was awarded to Jeremy Hellickson of the Tampa Bay Rays. According to Jane Lee of MLB.com:
The 24-year-old has the credentials. Hellickson posted a 13-10 record and 2.95 ERA spanning 189 innings in 29 starts, 20 of which were quality starts. He led all Major League rookies in ERA, which was the lowest among qualifying AL rookies (based on a minimum 162 innings) since Kevin Appier compiled a 2.76 mark for the Royals in 1990.
Furthermore, Hellickson’s .210 opponents’ batting average ranked third in the Majors only behind Cy Young contenders Justin Verlander (.192) of the Tigers and Clayton Kershaw (.207) of the Dodgers.