The tally for rookie of the year voting balloting came in Monday and, shockingly, for the first time in recent memory, the East Coast sporting bias did not rule the day. The National League award went to San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, the spark plug for the eventual World Series champions. The American League trophy went to Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, who broke the rookie save record with 40 and helped his team reach the World Series.
Although the credibility of all postseason awards took a blow with the preposterous selection of Derek Jeter as the Gold Glove winner for the second straight year, Posey and Feliz were the obvious choices for ROY. And that was despite the tremendous media pressure — ESPN included — for the honor in the senior circuit to go to the young player hyped as the savior of baseball, perhaps the next Hank Aaron, Jason Heyward.
Heyward had a terrific season, batting .277 with 18 home runs, 77 RBIs and 11 stolen bases, but he was not the best rookie in the National League this year. That distinction belonged to Buster Posey by far.