24-year-old Washington Nationals' second baseman Danny Espinosa received four 1st place votes from the SB Nation's baseball writers and finished second overall in our own NL Rookie of the Year voting. 24-year-old rookie backstop Wilson Ramos and 24-year-old Philadelphia Phillies' starter Vance Worley were the only players after Espinosa to receive 1st place votes, with one each. 23-year-old Atlanta Braves' closer Craig Kimbrel was the runaway winner, however, receiving 22 1st place votes to claim the SB Nation's NL ROY award.
In his first full season with the Braves, Kimbrel had 46 saves with a 2.10 ERA, 1.52 FIP, 32 BB (3.74 BB/9) and 127 K's (14.84 K/9) in 79 games and 77.0 IP. Kimbrel's +3.2 WAR was tops amongst rookie NL pitchers ahead of Braves teammate Brandon Beachy's +2.8 and Worley's +2.5. Espinosa's +3.5 WAR was the best among NL rookies, with Wilson Ramos' +3.1 second among position players and third overall.
Offensively, Danny Espinosa had .236/.323/.414 slash with 29 doubles (3rd most in the NL among rookies), 21 HR's (tied for 1st in NL among rookies with the Braves' Freddie Freeman), 17 steals (3rd among NL rookies) and the second-most RBI's with 66 to Freddie Freeman's 76 among rookies in the National League. Defensively, Espinosa had the second-highest error total among NL second baseman, with the 6th best fld% overall among NL second baseman and the 6th best UZR/150 +0.9 to Brandon Phillips' NL-Leading +12.5 UZR/150.
The Nats' second baseman was talked about as the a ROY candidate after the first half of the 2011 campaign, but Espinosa struggled in the second-half of 2011 though he ralied for a strong September. Espinosa did enough to earn four 1st place votes. And I wasn't one of the people who voted for him.
• My Ballot: Doghouse and I both voted, I'll leave it up to him to share his own ballot. My ballot:
1. Craig Kimbrel (RHP, ATL) - 22 1st place votes, 4 2nd place, 2 3rd place, 124 total - 1st overall - : (4-3), 46 saves, 79 G, 77.0 IP, 2.10 ERA, 1.52 FIP, 32 BB (3.74 BB/9), 127 K's (14.84 K/9), +3.2 WAR
2. Freddie Freeman (1B, ATL) - 8 2nd place, 3 3rd place, 27 Total - 3rd overall in SBN - : 157 G, 635 PA's, .282/.346/.448, 32 2B, 21 HR's, 118 wRC+, .339 BABIP, .345 wOBA, +1.0 WAR.
3. Wilson Ramos (C, WAS) - 1 1st Place, 2 2nd Place, 5 3rd place, 16 Total - 5th overall in SBN - : 113 G, 435 PA's, .267/.334/.445, 22 2B, 15 HR's, 109 wRC+, .297 BABIP, .332 wOBA, +3.1 WAR.
• SBN NL ROY Voting Results: