Heyward Left Off One ROY Ballot

According to the Twitter post of Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, Dejan Kovacevic is the only voter for the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year who did not list Jason Heyward on his ballot. Instead, this writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette chose to list two Pirates rookies, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata.

No, that wasn't a misprint. Apparently Kovacevic (whom I used to respect) thinks that Neil Walker and Jose Tabata had better rookie years than Jason Heyward. Let's take a look:


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2010 - Jason Heyward 142 520 83 144 29 5 18 72 91 128 11 6 .277 .393 .456


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2010 - Neil Walker 110 426 57 126 29 3 12 66 34 83 2 3 .296 .349 .462


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2010 - Jose Tabata 102 405 61 121 21 4 4 35 28 57 19 7 .299 .346 .400


Somewhere in the halls of niceness I might be able to forgive him for listing Walker, but Tabata! Jose plays the outfield, just like Jason Heyward. Heyward played in 40 more games and posted an OPS 100 points higher. There's no justification that Kovacevic can make that explains why Tabata is better than Heyward.

There's also the rule that says the stats of players who play in Pittsburgh where they get eliminated from the playoffs in May are not to be taken as seriously as the stats of players who are in a pennant race for most of the season. For lack of a better name, let's call it the "Nate McLouth Effect."

I can understand the hometown paper guy voting for one hometown player. After all, Everyday Jonny Venters got a vote, likely from one of the Atlanta voters, but listing two is a bit excessive and blatant homerism that essentially cheapens the entire voting process. Unfortunately it's always been a problem, and it probably always will. Maybe we should just let a computer decide...

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