Jeremy Hellickson beats Angels' Mark Trumbo for AL rookie award
Tampa Bay right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (below) edged Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo (above) in voting for the American League rookie of the year award Monday.
Hellickson went 13-10, but his 2.95 earned-run average was eighth-best in the AL. He garnered 102 points in voting by the Baseball Writers Assn. of America. Trumbo finished second with 63 points. Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals was a distant third.
Trumbo, who was bidding to become the first Angels rookie of the year in 18 seasons, thought his low average (.254) and on-base percentage (.291) might have swayed more voters toward the Tampa pitcher. But his 29 home runs and 87 runs batted made him a strong candidate.
Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, who saved a major-league leading 46 games and posted a 2.10 ERA, was a unanimous selection for the National League award, earning all 32 first-place votes to become the 10th unanimous winner in history.
The last Angel to win BBWAA rookie honors was Tim Salmon in 1993. Trumbo’s 29 homers were the most by an AL rookie since Nomar Garciaparra hit 30 for the Boston Red Sox in 1997 and fell two short of Salmon’s franchise rookie record of 31, set in 1993.
A former Villa Park High School standout, Trumbo filled in admirably for injured first baseman Kendrys Morales, who missed the entire season because of a broken left ankle.
His power helped keep the Angels in the AL West race deep into September despite subpar seasons from middle-of-the-order hitters Vernon Wells and Bobby Abreu.
Trumbo began the season batting seventh but moved up to fifth in early August and remained there until a stress fracture in his right foot ended his season with three games remaining.
He hit what was probably the most dramatic home run of the season, a two-run walk-off shot in the ninth inning to secure a 2-1 victory over Texas on Aug. 18.
Had the Angels lost that game, they would have fallen eight games behind the Rangers. Instead, they closed the deficit to six.
Trumbo's shot sparked a six-game win streak, and the Angels got as close as 1½ games on Sept. 10 before sliding out of contention in the final two weeks.
--Kevin Baxter and Mike DiGiovanna
Photo credit: Getty Images and Associated Press