The Baseball Bloggers Alliance continues their announcement of award winners for the 2012 season, naming the top rookies in both leagues by awarding the Willie Mays Award.
This year’s vote yielded the only unanimous decision in all five categories for the group.
In the American League, Mike Trout was awarded the honors by every voting member of the BBA. Trout, who maintained his rookie status in Major League Baseball for 2012, led the league in runs (129), stolen bases (49) and OPS+ (171). In addition, his slash line of .326/.399/.564 kept him among league leaders. Trout caps an all star season with recognition from the group as the top youngster in the American League.
Searching for a counterpart in the National League led to some discussion. When the dust settled, however, it was Washington National’s phenom Bryce Harper that walked away with 66% of the vote and the recognition of the largest collection of bloggers online. Harper’s season was impressive, with a slash line of .270/.340/.477 and an All Star appearance of his own. His 22 home runs and 59 runs batted in were impressive for the 19 year old outfielder, despite being overshadowed by Trout’s impressive rookie campaign.
Previous Willie Mays Award Winners
2011: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City/Jeremy Hellickson Tampa Bay (tie); Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta
2010: Neftali Feliz, Texas; Buster Posey, San Francisco
2009: Andrew Bailey, Oakland; Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 232 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.
The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.