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Craig Kimbrel and Jeremy Hellickson Win Rookie of the Year Awards

by Photo of Andrew Lontos

The two pitchers had the Braves and Rays in the playoff hunt on the last day of the season.

Craig Kimbrel and Jeremy Hellickson Win Rookie of the Year Awards

In this article…


Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson received high honors for their outstanding first full seasons in the Major Leagues on Monday, as they were named the winners of this year's Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards.

Kimbrel, 23, won the National League's award in a unanimous decision, receiving all 32 first-place votes cast by two writers in each league city. He was the 10th NLer to win the award unanimously and the 17th overall.

Hellickson joined teammate Evan Longoria to become the second player in Tampa Bay team history to be recognized as the American League's top rookie. He received 17 of 28 first-place votes. Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo finished second. Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was third and Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova was fourth.

Both Kimbrel and Hellickson were involved in late season dramatics. Unfortunately, Kimbrel was an integral part of the Braves' September collapse when they were eliminated from the playoffs on the last day of the year. Hellickson and the Rays, however, fought back to make the playoffs on that same last day. Still, both had phenomenal rookie campaigns. 

Kimbrel, who set a Major League record for saves by a rookie with 46, was the favorite for the award. His saves total led the NL, and he finished with a 2.10 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 77 innings for Atlanta, which just nearly missed out on the playoffs after a late-season slide.

Hellickson, 24, was a workhorse in a young Tampa Bay rotation that helped fuel the Rays to a late-season surge and into the playoffs via the AL Wild Card. He was 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA, ranking eighth in the league in ERA and striking out 117 hitters in 189 innings.

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