As part of the Baseball Bloggers’ Alliance’s yearly awards voting process, we hold the honor of helping choose who wins the BBA’s Willie Mays Award for the National League – the winner being recognized by the BBA as the NL’s most outstanding rookie player or pitcher.
3. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Posey was Bryce Harper before Harper. Finally in 2010, following some Molina Years ™ in San Francisco, Buster inherited the job full-time and doesn’t appear ready to relinquish it anytime soon (at least until he gets moved to first base).
Posey really blossomed in 2010 in helping push the Giants toward the National League West division title.
2. Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals
Where would the inexplicably fallible 2010 St. Louis Cardinals have wound up without the impressive exploits of Jaime Garcia? We latched on to El Gato early in Spring Training and he did not disappoint.
Engaged in a competition for one starting spot with Rich Hill and Kyle McClellan (how long ago does that seem now?) in Jupiter, Garcia emerged as the hesitant choice of the team to fill the starting rotation – after all, Garcia was just one season removed from Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.
Garcia turned in one of the more impressive and memorable (at least in my humble opinion) seasons of a rookie starting pitcher in recent years.
It is rare we see a rookie pitcher as dominant (he had his rough starts too, but Garcia was filthy for most of the year) as Garcia was in 2010 – he was easily one of the top rookies in the National League in 2010.
1. Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves
By look, by feel, by most methods of measurement – Heyward was easily the National League’s rookie of 2010.
The PH8 nominee for most outstanding rookie of the year was superior in defensive metrics, superior in offensive metrics – and, while not singularly responsible – his Atlanta club made the National League playoffs, and played an exciting series with the San Francisco Giants.
I’m not certain there is more to be said here about Heyward that can’t, or hasn’t, been more adequately described by our Atlanta compadres in the BBA.
- Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves
- Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals
- Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants