Kimbrel, Hellickson chosen rookies of the year

continued from page 1

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Philadelphia pitcher Vance Worley was third and Washington catcher Wilson Ramos was fourth. Ramos was kidnapped in Venezuela last week and freed Saturday when commandos raided the mountain hideout where he was being held.

Hellickson went 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA in helping the Rays take the AL wild-card spot. He drew 17 of 28 first-place votes and finished well ahead of Los Angeles Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo.

“It’s something I really wanted to win,” Hellickson said on a conference call from his home in Iowa. He said there were “three or four guys” equally deserving of the award.

The 24-year-old Hellickson was a big reason the Rays were able to erase a nine-game deficit against Boston in the last 3 1/2 weeks to win the AL wild-card spot. He was unbeaten in five starts against AL East teams in the final month, and finished 7-3 in games against division rivals.

On the next-to-last day, he kept the Rays close against the visiting New York Yankees. On his final pitch of the regular season, Hellickson got Russell Martin to ground into a triple play with the bases loaded, and the Rays went on to win.

Hellickson, incidentally, has a Yorkshire terrier called Jeter _ as in, Yankees star Derek Jeter. Hellickson’s dad was a big Reggie Jackson fan, and the dog wound up with the name.

Hellickson is generously listed at 6-foot-1, but held up extremely well over 29 starts. He led all big league rookies in ERA, innings (189) and opponents’ batting average (.210).

He became only the second AL starting pitcher to win the award in 30 years, along with Verlander in 2006. Hellickson’s ERA was the best for qualifying AL rookies since Kevin Appier’s 2.76 in 1990.

“I’ve believed in myself and had all the confidence in the world in myself,” he said.

Like Kimbrel, Hellickson’s final outing was rocky. Against Texas in Game 4 in the opening round of the AL playoffs, he gave up a leadoff home run to Ian Kinsler and two homers to Adrian Beltre and left after four innings as the Rangers clinched the series.

Hellickson, who went 4-0 in 10 for the Rays in 2010, joined Evan Longoria (2008) as Tampa Bay players to win the AL rookie honor. Hellickson finished with 102 points.

Trumbo drew five first-place votes and 63 points. Eric Hosmer, who hit .293 with 19 home runs and 78 RBIs after being called up by Kansas City in May, got four first-place votes and 38 points. Ivan Nova, 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA for the Yankees, got one first-place vote and was fourth with 30. Seattle second baseman Dustin Ackley drew the other first-place vote.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus