Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Case For Andrew Bailey

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


  1. Naturally I am a homer for Niemann and early on it looked to me like a 3-way race between him, Porcello and Romero, but as the season wore on the three young starters forgot how to win and Bailey kept doing his thing. It is a tight race, but I think Bailey is the clear winner. I did a post a little while ago comparing him to Rivera, Papplebon, Fuentes and Nathan. They all had him beat in saves totals, but he led the way everywhere else. I think Andrus has a nice Rafael Furcal career ahead of him, but I don't see him winning any awards ever. For my money, Bailey is truly the best rookie of 2009.

  2. I totally agree with you on Bailey! However Gordon Beckham has already won the Sporting News AL ROY award and he also picked up the AL ROY given out by the MLB Players association. I hope Bailey wins because I think he had the best year for a rookie, but it looks like the White Sox rook is in the drivers seat......

  3. I think Beckhams numbers were Bobby Crosby-isk to say the very least. It just shows you how out of touch some writers are. A majority of those votes had to be based on his projected talent, and not what he showed this season.

    Don't get me wrong I think Gordon is very talented, but 270 with 65 K,s, and 14 Hrs in 378 AB,s isn't exactly what I would call a stand out rookie season.

  4. I wrote an article about him earlier this year. I looooved talking to him. Nice guy.

  5. Sooz

    The fact that he's a nice guy doesn't have anything to do with him being a jersey boy does it ?

    Just Joking