Andrew Bailey was named the American League Rookie of the Year this morning. Hallelujah! The right guy won. No big market bias could override what Boom Boom did during the 2009 season. He was flat-out awesome!
He got the call this morning but had to keep it mum, but he figured he it was okay to tell his parents. Many baseball fans, including his dad–and Bailey himself–thought Elvis Andrus of the Rangers had the inside edge. The Rangers’ 21-year-old shortstop came in second in the voting. Brett Anderson, the A’s best rookie starting pitcher came in 6th. Not bad to have 2 out of the top 6!
Bailey who is 25 years old, notched 26 saves this season, beating Huston Street’s previous record of 24. No other rookie reliever this year posted more than 2. He also had a 1.84 ERA, a 6-3 record, and 91 strikeouts with only 24 walks. Opponents batted a mere .167 against him. He surrendered only 47 hits in 83 1/3 innings.
Bailey is the second A’s closer to receive ROY honors. Huston Street was similarly rewarded in 2005. Andrew is the 3rd A’s rookie to win the award in the last 6 seasons (Bobby Crosby in 2004), and the 8th Athletic in history to win, tied with the Yankees for the American League. The Dodgers hold the all-time record with 16.
For you fellow stat geeks, here’s how the ROY is chosen: selected members of the Baseball Writers Association of America–2 sports writers from each Major League team’s home area–cast votes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Bailey had 13 1st-place votes, 6 2nd-place votes and 5 3rd-place votes. 1st-place votes are worth 5 points, 2nd-place are worth 3 points and 3rd-place votes are worth 1 point. That gives Bailey 88 points. Andrus received 65 points, Rick Porcello 64, Jeff Niemann 21, Gordon Beckham 10 and Brett Anderson 4 votes (1 2nd-place and 1 3rd-place vote).
“There were so many rookies who had great years, it’s an amazing honor,” Bailey said, on his way to the airport from his Connecticut home. “It’s kind of hard to believe. It’s crazy. I really tried not to think too much about it after the season because it was out of my hands. All you can do is put up your numbers and hope that’s good enough. I guess this means it was. It’s incredible. I’m still shaking.”
The A’s will hold a press conference with Bailey in Oakland tomorrow at 10 am PT to honor his achievement.