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Tuesday November 16, 2010 4:24 am

Neftali Feliz wins AL Rookie of the Year award




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Neftali FelizRangers closer Neftali Feliz picked up top rookie honors in the American League in what was pretty much a sure bet. Feliz recorded 40 saves for Texas, setting a rookie record in doing so. He recorded 20 first-place votes and scored 122 points overall. Austin Jackson of the Tigers finished second in voting with 98 points. Feliz’s shaky postseason numbers did not matter as voting occurred before the postseason. He is the first Ranger to win the award in 36 years.

Feliz hung a 2.73 ERA in 69.1 innings pitched. He also recorded a 4-3 record and 71 strikeouts. Oh, and of course those 40 saves to just three blown opportunities look pretty good on his resume too. After earning a spot in the All-Star game, Feliz has already accomplished some things that many players will never achieve in their careers. He joins former first baseman and manager Mike Hargrove as the only Texas representatives to win the hardware.

Feliz is the second straight AL closer to win Rookie of the Year honors. Andrew Bailey of the Athletics took home the trophy in 2009 after posting a 1.84 ERA in 83.1 innings and recording 26 saves. Bailey’s sophomore season took a hit after recording an additional 25 saves when reports surfaced that he was suffering from a sore back, a rib injury and even elbow troubles. Hopefully Feliz’s 2011 campaign goes a little better.

Winning a Rookie of the Year is quite an honor, but only until the next guy claims the prize. Everybody cares about an MVP, but Rookie winners tend to be forgotten after a few seasons, especially if no subsequent success follows. Feliz is every bit capable of having a successful career, but we should let the man turn 23 before we anoint him as the next Trevor Hoffman. Still, 40 saves in a season is a hell of a way to announce your arrival at the show.

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