The VORG’s 2014 “Rookie of the Year” Awards

If you’re new to the VORG, please note that we give out our awards not necessarily to the BEST player for each honor, but for the most NOTABLE player. For example, Jose Abreu and Jacob deGrom are the likely and deserving favorites for the Rookie of the Year awards. However, those two gentleman didn’t distinguish themselves in the slightly warped, silly, odd world of the VORG.

Instead, the VORG is proud to present its American League Rookie of the Year to pitcher Aaron Brooks of the Kansas City Royals, and the National League award to Jumbo Diaz of the Cincinnati Reds.

AMERICAN LEAGUE – AARON BROOKS

In 2014, Brooks became the first player taken in the ninth round of the 2011 draft to make the Majors. Not only does he have namesakes in the NBA and NFL, he compiled quite the stat line in his first shot at “The Show”. Brooks became the first pitcher to ever compile a 43.88 ERA in a season. He also set a record for the highest ERA in a season with a minimum of 24 batters faced:

Player ERA Year Tm IP H R ER BB SO FIP HR BF
Aaron Brooks 43.88 2014 KCR 2.2 12 13 13 3 2 12.13 1 24
Joe Paterson 37.12 2012 ARI 2.2 15 11 11 3 0 16.22 2 26
Les McCrabb 31.50 1942 PHA 4 14 14 14 2 0 11.17 2 29
Joel Johnston 29.70 1994 PIT 3.1 14 12 11 4 5 5.53 0 30
Mel Queen 29.70 1952 PIT 3.1 8 12 11 4 3 11.99 2 25
Jim Brady 28.42 1956 DET 6.1 15 21 20 11 3 12.79 3 43
Anthony Claggett 27.00 2009 TOT 3.2 13 11 11 4 3 15.37 3 28
Matt Perisho 27.00 1998 TEX 5 15 17 15 8 2 13.54 2 40
Duane Ward 27.00 1995 TOR 2.2 11 10 8 5 3 7.60 0 25
Irv Medlinger 27.00 1949 SLB 4 11 13 12 3 4 6.01 1 26

 

No prior hurler ever had a multiple of 2.2 innings and 13 earned runs allowed. Behold his statline for the year:

W L ERA G GS GF IP PA AB H R ER
0 1 43.88 2 1 1 2.2 24 18 12 13 13
2B 3B HR TB BB SO HBP GDP SF BF ERA+
4 0 1 19 3 2 2 1 1 24 10
FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
12.13 5.625 40.5 3.4 10.1 6.8 0.67 0.667 0.708 1.056 1.764 0.688

What makes Brooks’ accomplishment so much more fascinating is that he got through the first inning of his May 3rd debut yielding only a two-out double, while striking out one.

Date Opp Batter Score   Inn RoB Out Play Description
5/3 DET Victor Martinez 0-3 Out t8 0 Flyball: RF (Deep CF-RF)
5/3 DET Torii Hunter 0-3 Out t8 1 Groundout: 3B-1B (SS-3B Hole)
5/3 DET Austin Jackson 0-3 2B t8 2 Double to LF (Ground Ball)
5/3 DET Nick Castellanos 0-3 SO t8 -2- 2 Strikeout Swinging

From that point on, he faced 20 batters, allowing 13 earned runs on eight singles, three doubles, one homer and three walks, while also hitting two batters.

Date Opp Batter Score   Inn RoB Out Play Description
5/3 DET Bryan Holaday 0-3 1B t9 0 Single to CF (Line Drive to Deep CF)
5/3 DET Danny Worth 0-3 2B t9 1– 0 Double to CF (Fly Ball to Deep CF-RF); Holaday Scores
5/3 DET Rajai Davis 0-4 1B t9 -2- 0 Single to 3B (Bunt to P’s Right); Worth to 3B
5/3 DET Ian Kinsler 0-4 Out t9 -23 0 Flyball: CF/Sacrifice Fly (Deep CF); Worth Scores; Davis to 3B
5/3 DET Miguel Cabrera 0-5 1B t9 3 1 Single to CF (Line Drive to Deep CF); Davis Scores
5/3 DET Victor Martinez 0-6 1B t9 1– 1 Single to RF (Ground Ball thru 2B-1B); Cabrera to 2B
5/3 DET Torii Hunter 0-6 HR t9 12- 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF); Cabrera Scores; Martinez Scores
5/3 DET Austin Jackson 0-9 SO t9 1 Strikeout Swinging
5/3 DET Nick Castellanos 0-9 Out t9 2 Groundout: SS-1B
5/31 @TOR Jose Reyes 0-0 BB b1 0 Walk
5/31 @TOR Melky Cabrera 0-0 HBP b1 1– 0 Hit By Pitch; Reyes to 2B
5/31 @TOR Jose Bautista 0-0 2B b1 12- 0 Double to RF (Line Drive to Deep CF-RF); Reyes Scores; Cabrera to 3B
5/31 @TOR Edwin Encarnacion 0-1 BB b1 -23 0 Walk
5/31 @TOR Adam Lind 0-1 1B b1 123 0 Single to RF (Ground Ball thru 2B-1B); Cabrera Scores; Bautista to 3B; Encarnacion to 2B
5/31 @TOR Brett Lawrie 0-2 HBP b1 123 0 Hit By Pitch; Bautista Scores; Encarnacion to 3B; Lind to 2B
5/31 @TOR Juan Francisco 0-3 2B b1 123 0 Ground-rule Double (Line Drive to Deep CF-RF); Encarnacion Scores; Lind Scores; Lawrie to 3B
5/31 @TOR Dioner Navarro 0-5 BB b1 -23 0 Walk
5/31 @TOR Anthony Gose 0-5 Out b1 123 0 Ground Ball Double Play: P-C-1B; Francisco to 3B; Navarro to 2B
5/31 @TOR Jose Reyes 0-5 1B b1 -23 2 Single to LF (Line Drive to Short LF); Francisco Scores; Navarro to 3B
5/31 @TOR Melky Cabrera 0-6 1B b1 1-3 2 Single to CF (Ground Ball thru SS-2B); Navarro Scores; Reyes to 3B

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE – JUMBO DIAZ

Born Jose Rafael Diaz, the 30-year-old spent 12 seasons in the minors before finally making his big league debut on June 20. He had a respectable year in the pen, with a 3.38 ERA and a 2.64 K/BB ratio in 33.2 innings.

But the VORG loves him because he goes by “Jumbo,” and rightfully so. Both Baseball Reference and the Reds website list him at 6’4” and 315 pounds. He thus became the heaviest pitcher in baseball history, by 20 pounds! Here are the hurlers tipping the scales at 275 pounds or greater.

Player Wt From To G GS CG SHO W L SV
Jumbo Diaz 315 2014 2014 36 0 0 0 0 1 0
Jonathan Broxton 295 2005 2014 542 0 0 0 35 30 118
Jumbo Brown 295 1925 1941 249 23 7 2 33 31 28
Jon Rauch 290 2002 2013 556 11 0 0 43 40 62
Bartolo Colon 285 1997 2014 442 436 35 12 204 141 0
CC Sabathia 285 2001 2014 423 423 37 12 208 119 0
Tyler Robertson 285 2012 2013 42 0 0 0 2 2 0
Jeff Niemann 285 2008 2012 97 92 4 3 40 26 0
Chad Paronto 285 2001 2009 177 0 0 0 6 12 1
Jose Ceda 280 2010 2011 25 0 0 0 0 1 0
Adam Russell 280 2008 2011 85 0 0 0 8 3 0
Renyel Pinto 280 2006 2010 244 0 0 0 8 10 2
Carlos Silva 280 2002 2010 316 180 6 2 70 70 2
Seth McClung 280 2003 2009 177 51 0 0 26 34 6
Bruce Rondon 275 2013 2013 30 0 0 0 1 2 1
Carlos Zambrano 275 2001 2012 354 302 10 5 132 91 0
Bobby Jenks 275 2005 2011 348 0 0 0 16 20 173
Sean West 275 2009 2010 22 22 0 0 8 8 0
Chris Britton 275 2006 2008 78 0 0 0 0 3 1
Heath Phillips 275 2007 2007 6 0 0 0 1 1 0

His BMI (body mass index) is 38.3, also a Major League record, edging out Walter Young (6’5″, 320, 37.9 BMI). Ortiz also faced the 260 pound Matt Adams twice during the year, with their combined 575 pounds more than likely being a record for the heaviest pitcher-batter matchup of all-time.

Congrats to both players!

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