Who is Andrew Bailey?
Andrew Bailey is a rookie closer for the Oakland Athletics. He ascended from a struggling Minor League starter in June 2008 to a Major League All- Star by June 2009. Bailey finished his stunning season with 26 saves, an Oakland rookie record, a 1.84 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP over 68 appearances and 91 strikeouts against 24 walks in 83 1/3 innings.
The former 188th overall pick from the 2006 amateur draft stepped into the closer position on April 4th, and went on to have one of the most brilliant rookie campaigns in Oakland Athletics history. If you look back at the crop of golden arms Oakland has produced in the past Its safe to assume this kid has a very bright future ahead of him.
The fact that he is a closer shouldn't hurt his chances in terms of votes. Thanks to legends like Dennis Eckersley, and Mariano Rivera the closer position has become a prominent role in the game of baseball. Lets face it the days of a starter throwing a nine inning ball game are long gone, and a team with a lousy closer doesn't win very many ball games. Its also important to point out that Houston Street won it in 2005 with less stellar numbers.
When it comes down to it there were a lot of good rookies this year including teammate Brett Anderson, a lefty starter, infielder's Elvis Andrus of the Rangers, Gordon Beckham of the White Sox, catcher Matt Wieters of the Orioles, righty starters Rick Porcello of the Tigers and Jeff Neimann of the Rays also are among the candidates.
Although these rookies are all very talented none of them put up anywhere close to the numbers that Bailey did, and the only player that even comes close is Elvis Andrus. Andrus, the 21-year-old acrobat who seems to be the favorite at this point emerged as one of the best defensive shortstops in the league, and posted a .267 batting average with six homers, 40 RBIs and 33 stolen bases.
Yes Elvis put up decent numbers ( I should say marginal), but he didn't break any team records, or did he make it to the All-Star Game, and I think those two factors are huge in terms of rookie accomplishments. To base your decision solely on their statistics would be a difficult task, because they play entirely different positions
Its going to be interesting to find out who wins the R.O.Y, and I hope a fair unbiased decision is made this year. However, regardless of who wins it I certainly see green & gold on the horizon, and a future superstar closer by the name of Andrew Bailey wearing it.
The Mojo Hand