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Ramos 4th, Espinosa 6th in ROY vote

Nov 14, 2011, 7:19 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Danny Espinosa's second-half slump cost him a shot at Rookie of the Year honors.

There was a point this summer when Danny Espinosa looked like the clear-cut favorite to win National League Rookie of the Year honors. But a second-half tailspin at the plate wound up costing the Nationals second baseman a shot at the Jackie Robinson Award and nearly left him off the final ballot altogether.

Espinosa wound up finishing sixth in voting conducted at the end of the regular season and announced today by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Teammate Wilson Ramos, who enjoyed a strong rookie campaign himself, finished fourth.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel (who led the league with 46 saves and 64 games finished) won the award, receiving all 32 possible first-place votes. His Atlanta teammate, first baseman Freddie Freeman, earned runner-up honors, after hitting .282 with 21 homers, 76 RBI and leading all NL rookies in hits, doubles and total bases.

Right-hander Vance Worley, who went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA for the NLRead more ยป

  1. natsfan1a - Nov 14, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    I figured it would be Kimbrel. In addition to his stats, he's also got that late-night hosting gig going for him. What? Oh. Never mind. But seriously, not surprised to learn he won.Kinda cool to have two Nats in the running, though. Seems like just yesterday that Hanley Ramirez beat out Ryan Zimmerman back in the day. (Yeah, well, you have to wear that ugly uni and look at that grotesque home run feature – so there. ;-))

  2. joemktg - Nov 14, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Wilson played in 113 games vs. 157 for Freeman. And Ramos' BA was trending up since All Star Break. He's right there with Freeman.

  3. gonatsgo - Nov 14, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Five of the top six are NL East – and the al east is always whining about how tough their division is – wah, wah, wah. And – the 3 top vote-getters are pitchers that we have to face along with the vaunted Phillies starters. I know I am biased, but I think the NL East is the single highest-quality division in baseball right now.

  4. NatStat - Nov 14, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    They were all deserving, but as I note in a previous comment, Espi reportedly had a better WAR than Kimbrel and Freeman. Ramo's was just under Espi's.If Ramo had had the opportunity of playing more, he might have had a greater opportunity at ROY.Anyway, as Nats fans we have to be pleased that both Espinosa and Ramos were in the running for ROY. They are great players, who will surely get better over the years!Goooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!

  5. JamesFan - Nov 14, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    I would not trade the two Nats players on this list for the Atl players above them.

  6. Tcostant - Nov 14, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    I just saw si.com article on the AFL. The Nationals were the the only team with two players listed.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/joe_sheehan/11/10/arizona.fall.league/index.html

  7. noirelune - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    I totally agree with you JamesFan.

  8. SCNatsFan - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    I love Sheehan's line "the 2016 World Champions" but lets move it to, say 2014.

  9. Anonymous - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    "Ramos also received one second-place vote (from the Hosuton Chronicle's Zachary Levine)"who voted for Espinosa?

  10. JaneB - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    ow cool that two of our babies (or former babies) are on this list! We haven't had that since Zimm was a lad. Rooting for two high finishers next year, too.

  11. Section 222 - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    I have to agree with JamesFan and noirelune. I'll keep Espi and Ramo and leave Kimbrel and Freeman to the Braves. But that doesn't mean that the voting this year was wrong. Espi wasn't just brought down by his batting average. He had a really lackluster second half at the plate overall. We all hope and expect that in future years he won't run out of gas, or will learn to make adjustments against pitchers who have figured him out. Ramo had a very solid rookie year, but he only played 113 games. Ok, Buster Posey only played 108 in 2010, but he had an OPS of .862 and and OPS+ of 133 (compare Ramos's .779/113). I'd love to see Ramo play 130 or even 140 games next year.I wonder whether Kimbrel will take the John Smolz/David Price/and maybe Neftali Feliz route and become a starter at some point. If so, he'd be alot more valuable to the team than if he stays a closer.It's fascinating that Ramo got more votes than Espi. I wonder how many of us would have predicted that result, or voted that way, before the events of the last week.And speaking of closers, Storen didn't get any mention at all even though he had only three fewer saves and a better WHIP (1.022 vs. 1.039) than Kimbrel. I'm not saying he should have won ROY, but that seems a little questionable. If you think that being a closer has the kind of value that qualifies for ROY consideration, shouldn't Storen have received some mention? Anyone have a theory on that?

  12. Anonymous - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Section 222, I'm fairly certain that Drew Storen was not considered a rookie this year. Remember, he came up in May last year.

  13. Binx Bolling - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    I'd take Kimbrell and Worley ahead of Ramos or Espinosa. Pitching first. If the Nats did not have Morse slotted at first for 2013-16, I'd take Freeman over Espinosa as well.

  14. sjm308 - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    222:If you are wondering why Storen didn't get any mention for ROY this year its pretty obvious that he was not a rookie. He made his first appearance for our Nats in May of 2010. Otherwise I don't understand what you mean.

  15. Section 222 - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    How quickly we forget. Right you are everyone. Storen apparently wasn't a rookie. Kimbrel actually had his MLB debut 10 days before Storen and appeared in 21 games in 2010. I guess there's a dividing line there somewhere. Number of games? Time on the 25 man roster? I'll google it.

  16. SonnyG10 - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Its nice to have two of our youngsters mentioned on the ROY list, even though they didn't win. I hope Danny figures out how to make adjustments at the plate, but there is that thing called the sophomore slump, so I'm prepared to wait until his third year for his stardom. I expect great things from Wilson also. GYFNG!!!

  17. Anonymous8 - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    Catcher is a tougher position than 1st base. I guess if you go by the almighty WAR, it should have been Espinosa, Ramos, Freeman.I see Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa as integral parts of the Nats future. Happy for both that they got votes.Personally, I put Ramos ahead of Espinosa with the way they ended the season.

  18. Gonat - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    JamesFan said… I would not trade the two Nats players on this list for the Atl players above them. November 14, 2011 3:14 PM ______________________________Agreed, not a chance. Not a fan of Freddie Freeman. Kimbrel is a heck of a reliever but the Nats have a guy named Storen.Congrats to Wilson Ramos & Danny Espinosa.

  19. Avar - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    Did you have a vote Mark? If so, how did you vote? I can't stand that a closer won. I continue to be irritated by recent elevation of that role. I think the major league average for teams winning games they lead in the 9th is 90% but I can't find support for it lately. If you move Kimbrall way down (or off altogether) then I don't have big objections. But I think Ramos' performance was the most impressive as catcher is the hardest position.

  20. Joe Seamhead - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    SCNatsFan said…I love Sheehan's line "the 2016 World Champions" but lets move it to, say 2014————————————————————–2014? Screw that. I'm seriously thinking 2012. Okay, 2013. Also, Ramos and Espy are about right in the voting for ROY, IMHO.Also, is Espy really a switch hitter? Maybe he should try to hit RH's from the right side of the plate this spring?

  21. Wally - Nov 15, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    I am not surprised that Ram Moose got more votes than Espy. Even going by WAR, Ramos had about 200 fewer PAs for just slightly less WAR. Plus, if you could only take one of those guys, which would it be? They both play important defensive positions, maybe C is a little more important, but I think that their second halves suggest that many people would take Ramos.It is always difficult to know what counts in ROY votes. Best season? Best potential? Some combination? I don't think all voters use the same criteria. If you look at the AL, you could make a case that there are three others who were rookies last year that you would probably take ahead of Hellickson, and certainly Trumbo: Ackley, Hosmer and Jennings. Maybe Brett Lawrie, too.

  22. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Also, is Espy really a switch hitter? Maybe he should try to hit RH's from the right side of the plate this spring?He gets 1000 at bats and then if it's not really working they likely ask him to bat right handed exclusively.

  23. Gonat - Nov 15, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    Wally said… I am not surprised that Ram Moose got more votes than Espy. Even going by WAR, Ramos had about 200 fewer PAs for just slightly less WAR. Plus, if you could only take one of those guys, which would it be? They both play important defensive positions, maybe C is a little more important, but I think that their second halves suggest that many people would take Ramos.It is always difficult to know what counts in ROY votes. Best season? Best potential? Some combination? I don't think all voters use the same criteria. If you look at the AL, you could make a case that there are three others who were rookies last year that you would probably take ahead of Hellickson, and certainly Trumbo: Ackley, Hosmer and Jennings. Maybe Brett Lawrie, too. November 14, 2011 7:16 PM ______________________________I love this NatsInsider. Totally slipped by mind on the cumulative nature of WAR.Good analysis on Ramos. My eyes kept telling me he is a gem.Proud member of the RAM MOOSE is LOOSE Fan Club

  24. Mark Zuckerman - Nov 15, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Avar: I did not have a vote for Rookie of the Year this season. I did vote for NL MVP, and I'll reveal my ballot when that award is announced next Tuesday.To those wondering about what constitutes a rookie: You must have fewer than 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched, and you must have spent fewer than 45 days on the active, big-league roster (days in September, when rosters have expanded, don't count).So Storen obviously didn't qualify as a rookie this year. But Chris Marrero, Steve Lombardozzi, Brad Peacock and Tommy Milone will qualify as rookies next year.

  25. whatsanattau - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Ladson notes that both Nix and Hairston might be on the Nats shopping list. I'd like that a lot. Hairston in particular because of flexibility and willingness to do everything, but Nix too for all the usual reasons – talent, performance, chemistry,and effort. I heard Jimbo interview Hariston last week and it sounded like Jerry was hoping for a starting gig, but Bowden theorized that Jerry would have to consider contract value as well. No recent mention of Ankiel, but judging from the many MLB Trade Rumors notes, he is a popular target. Rosenthal predicts Livon ends up in Miami (which would be good for Livon) I have not seen anything on Pudge, Gomes, Cora, or Coffey. Anyone seen anything on them?

  26. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:03 AM

    Is the picture with this blog entry supposed to be Espinosa? I don't recognize the face or the shoes.If it's him, it really doesn't look like him.

  27. natsfan1a - Nov 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    He's just wearing his "oh, no, you didn't just try to sneak one past me – arrrgghhhh" face, Anon.

  28. UNTERP - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    As far as future World Series the Nationals are slated to lose the 2012 World Series, then win the next seven beginning in 2013. That is all…

  29. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Kudos to to Espi and Ramos for garnering votes. I think the voters made the right choices with Kimbrel and Hellickson.

  30. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    Ugh, Kimbrel. Maybe if he was a starter I could accept that. But since he's a closer, granted a great closer, who only pitches about one inning a game, I hold this in complete disdain.

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NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 92 64 --
ATLANTA 76 81 16.5
NEW YORK 76 81 16.5
MIAMI 75 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 86 21.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Tuesday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (2) 92 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.5
-------------------------
y-PITTSBURGH 86 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 0.5
MILWAUKEE 80 77 6.0
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