ATLANTA - AUGUST 31: Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Atlanta Braves enters the game to pitch in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field on August 31, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
"The Little Closer That Could," Craig Kimbrel, completed his off-season hardware collection with the Nation League Rookie of the Year Award. Kimbrel is the first Atlanta Braves rookie to win the award since shortstop Rafael Furcal beat out Rick Ankiel (then a pitcher) in 2000. Fellow Braves rookie Freddie Freeman came in second to Kimbrel in this year's voting. Starter Brandon Beachy did not receive any votes.
Kimbrel becomes the Braves first pitcher to win the ROY. All of the franchise's previous five winners were position players. He also becomes just the 10th unanimous selection for ROY, the last one being Albert Pujols in 2001. Kimbrel and Freeman also became the first two teammates to finish first and second in ROY voting since Cubs teammates Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith accomplished that in 1989.
It was a tough decision last year as Jason Heyward was beaten out for the award by Buster Posey. Heyward did win the Sporting News rookie of the year, which while prestigious, is not considered the "official" award. Kimbrel also won the Sporting News ROY earlier this off-season.
There have been several Braves rookies since 2000 to receive votes for the NL ROY. Do you remember Damian Moss? He came in fifth in a very forgettable 2002 rookie class. Jeff Francoeur received two first place votes, but came in third in 2005. Yunel Escobar received one third place vote in 2007. Jair Jurrjens came in third in 2008, and Tommy Hanson placed third in 2009. Jonny Venters also received one third place vote last year.
|Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves||32||160|
|Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves||21||7||70|
|Vance Worley, Philadelphia Phillies||8||16||40|
|Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals||1||3||6|
|Josh Collmenter, Arizona Diamondbacks||1||2||5|
|Danny Espinoza, Washington Nationals||1||3|
|Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs||2||2|
|Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers||2||2|
The AL ROY results are after the jump, for your arguing pleasure.
|Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays||17||5||2||102|
|Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||5||11||5||63|
|Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals||4||4||6||38|
|Ivan Nova, New York Yankees||1||5||10||30|
|Michael Pineda, Seattle Mariners||3||2||11|
|Dustin Ackley, Seattle Mariners||1||1||6|
|Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays||1||1|
|Jordan Walden, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||1||1|