Baseball's award season is upon us and we finally have a vote that counts for something this year. We're proud members of the Baseball Blogger Alliance and they've been kind enough to give us ballots. The only thing the BBWAA ever gave us was a slide rule that only went to 4. Today we'll be unveiling our NL Willie Mays ballot for rookie of the year.
1. Buster Posey
Did any Off Base readers not see this coming? We might have given Posey more love than his parents this season. The argument for Jason Heyward over Posey basically boils down to Heyward's extra 180 plate appearances. It's a valid point. And if Posey had caught 103 games instead of playing 30 games at first base, I doubt if it would even be an issue. Either way, Posey hit 18 home runs and .305/.357/.505 for the year. If Heyward wins, and he has a strong case, it's because freakin' Bengie Molina managed to block Posey from playing time. Literally, it's hard to get around his roundness. Posey finished the season with a 3.9 WAR and lost some UZR points when he played out of position at first base. Hey Rays, how's it working out passing on Posey for Tim Beckham? I thought so.
2. Jason Heyward
All the Braves' 20-year-old outfielder did was start the season and be their most productive player. He hit 18 homers and .277/.393/.456 while playing pretty good right field (4.6 UZR). Did I mention he's 20-years-old? He's a beast in the making and the corner stone of the youth movement in Atlanta. Heyward put up a 4.9 WAR and it's only going to get better from there. His .376 wOBA suggests that you better start penciling him in for multiple All Star Games. My Atlanta friends probably won't like me putting Heyward second but most of them are illiterate and I doubt they'll have anyone read this to them. Haha, your public school system sucks.
3. Jaime Garcia
If Garcia pitched in the American League and posted a 2.70/3.41/3.73 pitching line, he'd run away from the rest of the rookie pack. Instead he had to battle Mike Stanton and his 22 home runs for the final spot on my NL ballot. He pitched 163.1 innings of 3.2 WAR which firmly places him as a solid third behind Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in the Cardinals' rotation.