[Update: Delmon Young has finished second in the voting to Dustin Pedroia. Young received three first place votes out of 28]
Today, the winners of the Rookie of the Year awards for each league will be announced. The general belief is that Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox will take home the award with Delmon Young of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays finishing second. Two websites challenged each other to come up with 5 reasons why their candidate should win the award.
The Serious Tip presents “5 reasons why Delmon Young should win Rookie of the Year“.
- Clutch Hitting
- Fielding Prowess
We have to take issue with #3 “Versatility” and #4 “Fielding Prowess”. One of the Top 5 arms in baseball? Probably. Gold Glove-caliber? No way. For those that have seen Young play on a regular basis, know that he often looks uncomfortable in right field, plays wayyyyy too deep (a sign that a player has trouble going back on balls) and takes terrible angles on balls all the time. We are not saying he will never be a good defensive outfielder. He just is not one yet. And while he was passable as a center fielder, he spent the entire time playing the position from the restaurant on the other side of the center field wall and complaining about the move to the press.
One More Dying Quail rebuts with “Five Reasons Why Dustin Pedroia Should Be Rookie Of The Year“. We have long thought that Pedroia should and would win the award. However, after reading the argument at OMDQ, we are now thinking that maybe Delmon Young does deserve the award.
To summarize the argument…
- David Eckstein is also scrappy and never won the award
- Pedroia made a great defensive play on Sept. 1
- He sucked for the first month and never strikes out
- He is as tough as Raul Rodarte of the Mexican League
- The author is afraid of his wife
That is one hell of an argument. Let’s see if we can come up with some better reasoning one way or the other…
- Offense (traditional stats): Delmon Young hit .288-13-93 while appearing in 162 games. Dustin Pedroia hit .317-8-50 in 139 games. Delmon loses points for not understanding the rules of baseball and knowing that he does not have to swing at every single god damned pitch. If Delmon Young would have shown any patience this season he could have hit .320. EDGE: Eck’s Clone Pedroia
- Offense (newage stats): Pedroia had a VORP of 35.9 compared to 5.7 for Young (not a typo). Pedroia had an OPS of .822 compared to .724 for Young. Pedroia had an EqA of .276 while Young’s EqA was only .251. We are pretty sure that Pedroia got a 30 point boost in his VORP for being little and scrappy. EDGE: The Eck-esque Pedroia
- Clutchiness: In close and late situations, Pedroia hit .299-2-2 in 67 at bats with a .780 OPS. Young was .264-3-13 with an OPS of .723. Of course Young had a huge walk-off home run in the Disney series against the Rangers. Young also seem to play the game with a chip on his shoulder and strong desire to be known, which means his concentration level seems to rise to a new level when it matters most. EDGE: Delmonator
- Defense: Pedroia gets a slight nod right off the bat because he played second base on a team in a pennant-race, but lets look at the numbers. Pedroia had a Range Factor of 4.88, just below the league average of 4.98. Young had a RF of 2.13, higher than the league average for RF of 2.08. This tells us that Young’s speed helped him overcome his problems with the glove and may not have been as bad as we previously thought. On the other hand, Young was Dishin’ Out Delmon’s all season long to the tune of 16 outfield assists. Pedrioa did not have a single outfield assist! BUT…Pedroia looks like David Eckstein. EDGE: Split
- Cockiness: We can only base this on 2007 so Delmon Young does not get credit for throwing a bat at an unpire, however, he does get bonus points for 1) bitching about having to play center field; 2) believing every pitch is his pitch; and 3) thinking that Joe Maddon singled him out for not hustling on the penultimate game of the season. Pedroia gets bonus points for being Major League Baseball’s poster-child for the Napolean Complex. EDGE: Delmonator
In the end, it was closer than we thought it would be, but the numbers don’t lie. VORP And EqA give Pedroia a huge edge and he did it all season long playing middle infield for a team in a pennant race under the scrutiny of the unforgiving Boston fans and the unforgiving Boston media.
We love Delmon Young and he will have the better career when all is said and done. But for 2007? The AL Rookie of the Year is Dustin Pedroia.