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AL, NL Top Rookies Chosen

Pierre Ducharme-Pool, Getty Images
Jeremy Hellickson (Pierre Ducharme-Pool, Getty Images)

The Baseball Writers Association of America released its first awards of the postseason Monday afternoon with Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrell claiming the National League Rookie award, while the American League honor went to Tampa Bay right-hander .

Kimbrell was a unanimous choice for NL Rookie of the Year after posting a rookie-record 46 saves. The hard-throwing righty earned all 32-first place votes, outpointing Braves teammate Freddie Freeman.

Jeremy Hellickson claimed the AL recognition after going 13-10 on the year with a 2.95 ERA, and helping the Rays win the AL wild-card spot. He drew 17 of 28 first-place votes and finished ahead of Los Angeles Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo.

Kimbrel was nearly unhittable for much of the season, striking out 127 batters in 77 innings of work. The 23-year-old made 38 straight appearances in midseason without allowing a run.

He wound up tied with Milwaukee’s John Axford for the NL lead in saves, and became just the 10th unanimous NL rookie winner, and first since Albert Pujols did it in 2001.

Daniel Shirey, Getty Images
Craig Kimbrel (Daniel Shirey, Getty Images)

Hellickson was a big part in Tampa Bay being able to erase a nine-game deficit against the Boston Red Sox in the last 3 ½ weeks of the regular season to win the AL wild-card spot. He was unbeaten in five starts against AL East teams in the final month, and finished 7-3 in games against the division rivals.

Hellickson led all big league rookies in ERA, innings (189) and opponents’ batting average (.210). He joined Evan Longoria (2008) as the only Tampa Bay Players to win the AL rookie honor.

The AL Cy Young Award will be announced Tuesday, and to read more on the AL & NL Rookie of the Year Award winner click here.

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