Craig Kimbrel and Mark Trumbo were recognized for standout seasons Wednesday, when The Sporting News named them the Rookies of the Year in their respective leagues. The voting was conducted by 289 big league players who returned a verdict on their elite peers.
Kimbrel, Atlanta's closer, was named the National League's top rookie after a season that saw him pace the Senior Circuit in games finished (64) and tie for the top spot in saves (46). Kimbrel struck out 14.8 batters per nine innings this past season and set a new rookie record for saves.
Trumbo, who plays first base for the Angels, took home the American League's prize for first-year players after putting up the most home runs (29) by an AL rookie since Nomar Garciaparra in 1997. Trumbo, filling in for injured veteran Kendry Morales, batted .254 and led the Angels with 87 RBIs.
Kimbrel, for his career, is now 8-3 with a 1.75 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 97 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old went 38 outings without allowing a run at one point in 2011, and he easily bested the previous NL record for the most saves (36) by a first-year reliever (Todd Worrell in 1987).
Kimbrel also set new standards for the most saves by a rookie before the All-Star break (26 by Jonathan Papelbon in 2006) and narrowly bested the previous rookie record (40, set by Neftali Feliz in 2010). Kimbrel allowed just two baserunners in four postseason appearances.
Trumbo, an 18th-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, had 10 home runs by the end of May for the Angels. The first baseman batted .261 at home and .247 on the road, and he logged a .305 on-base percentage and .483 slugging percentage in the first half, compared to .275 and .469 after the All-Star break.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.