I took a few days off from the awards, but it’s back to it. Today I will unveil the Royals Blue Aid Rookie of the Year.
Naming the KC Royals Rookie of the Year was probably the easiest decision amongst the awards for me.
Reliever Kelvin Herrera takes this award, as he had a great rookie season in 2012, culminating with being named to Baseball America’s All-Rookie Team (as the closer).
He finished the season with a 4-3 record and a 2.35 ERA in 76 games. But those numbers don’t speak too how good he was. After May 1st, Herrera struck out 69 in 74.1 innings. He walked 20 in that time frame and did not allow a homerun. In the second half, he went 3-for-4 in save opportunities.
Herrera led all rookie relievers in games and innings pitched. He also led all Royals relievers in those same categories.
His fastball is his best pitch, as he topped out at 103 mph in 2012. He averaged 98.5 mph on his fastball. That fastball makes his high 80s changeup that much better. Batters only put his changeup into play about a quarter of the time. Herrera racked up the strikeouts, but also had a ground ball rate of 55%.
This is the second award for Herrera from RBA (he took the Reliever of the Year award too).
Herrera had a great rookie season, but very few know about him. I’m excited to see what he has in store for 2013.