Rookie of the what?

My best friend in high school used to view college football as like the minor leagues of the NFL. He always thought that the only players that could be considered good were guys who could be good at the next level. He didn’t think guys should be able to win the Heisman if they couldn’t compete at the next level. He was so mad when Eric Crouch won the Heisman in 2001 because he said he would suck in the NFL. The Heisman is not supposed to be a projector of NFL talent. As long as you view the MLB Rookie of the Year as the same was, meaning just a measure of the best rookies and not a projector of greatness you should be good. Ryan Braun and Dustin Pedroia won the awards today, let’s look at the award winners from ’95 to ’04 shall we?

Year AL NL
1995 Marty Cordova (0) Hideo Nomo (0)
1996 Derek Jeter (8) Todd Hollandsworth (0)
1997 Nomar Garciaparra (5) Scott Rolen (5)
1998 Ben Grieve (0) Kerry Wood (1)
1999 Carlos Beltran (4) Scott Williamson (0)
2000 Kaz Sasaki (2) Rafael Furcal (1)
2001 Ichiro Suzuki (6) Albert Pujols (5)
2002 Eric Hinske (0) Jason Jennings (0)
2003 Angel Berroa (0) Dontrelle Willis (1)
2004 Bobby Crosby (0) Jason Bay (2)

The number in the parenthesis is the number of All-Star appearences AFTER their award winning season. I am not a huge fan of using All-Star trips as a measure of talent since it only takes into consideration the first half of the season and you can get voted on, but it’s a quick barometer.

Of the 20 winners, only 11 appeared in a later All-Star game. Only 8 of those appeared in multiple games (I expect Dontrelle to someday add to that). Of the 20 guys, these 5 were not playing in ’07 (Nomo, Cordova, Hollandsworth, Grieve, Sasaki). You could argue that only 7 became excellent players (Jeter, Nomar, Beltran, Ichiro, Rolen, Pujols, Willis is on his way).

The bottom line, re-visit Ryan Braun and Dustin Pedrioia in 5 years. Because until then, we still know nothing…


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