Braves’ Kimbrel wins NL rookie award

National League: Braves’ Kimbrel receives honor

Why he won: Craig Kimbrel, 23, was a unanimous choice among National League voters despite contributing to Atlanta’s late-season collapse by blowing two of his final three save opportunities.overall, though, Kimbrel was magnificent in setting a major-league rookie record with 46 saves while going 4-3 with a 2.10 ERA in 79 games. Opponents batted just .178 against him.Kimbrel’s teammate Freddie Freeman, a first baseman, finished second in the balloting while Philadelphia pitcher Vance Worley was third. Kimbrel was the only player cited on all 32 ballots.there have been 10 unanimous selections in NL rookie balloting, but Kimbrel is the first since Albert Pujols of the Cardinals in 2001. Kimbrel and Freeman are the third pair of teammates to finish one-two. The last were Chicago outfielders Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith in 1989.

In his words: “It definitely did surprise me, the unanimous decision,” Kimbrel said. “with my teammate Freddie, I expected it to be close. The (collapse at the) end of the year, I can’t say it’s something I’ll get over. but it’s something that will push me and make me strive to do better next year.”

Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta3200160

Freddie Freeman, Atlanta021770

Vance Worley, Philadelphia081640

Wilson Ramos, Washington0136

Josh Collmenter, Arizona0125

Danny Espinoza, Wash.0103

Darwin Barney, Chicago0022

Kenley Jansen, LA0022

The voting panel consists of two BBWAA members from each of the 16 chapters in NL cities. Players receive five points for a first-place vote, three for a second-place vote and one for a third-place vote. Balloting is conducted prior to postseason play.

Previous winners since 2000

2010: Buster Posey, San Francisco. 2009: Chris Coghlan, Florida. 2008: Geovany Soto, Chicago. 2007: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee. 2006: Hanley Ramirez, Florida. 2005: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia. 2004: Jason Bay, Pittsburgh. 2003: Dontrelle Willis, Florida. 2002: Jason Jennings, Colorado. 2001: Albert Pujols*, St. Louis. 2000: Rafael Furcal, Atlanta.* indicates unanimous selection. 2011 Baseball Writers award schedule

Today: AL Cy Young Award. Wednesday: AL and NL Manager of the Year. Thursday: NL Cy Young Award. Monday: AL Most Valuable Player. Nov. 22: NL Most Valuable Player

Braves’ Kimbrel wins NL rookie award

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