Thursday, November 18, 2010

Will Neftali Feliz Join Tom Terrific?

AP & Getty Images

Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz had the honor (and deservedly so) of winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Feliz had a monster year setting a major league-rookie record with 40 saves. Not a bad way to start a career.

Or is it?

In winning the ROY award Feliz became the 33rd pitcher to do so since it's inception in 1947.

But oddly enough, of the prior 32 winners only the great Tom Seaver (1967 NL winner) has gone on to have a Hall of Fame career. Yes that's correct, only 1 pitcher has been named ROY and is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. His name is Tom "Terrific" Seaver.

And if anyone is wondering if there's a prior winner waiting in the wings for Hall of Fame induction-- the answer is NO. Of all the prior winners the only one who seems to be heading toward a Hall of Fame-caliber career is the Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander, the 2006 AL winner. Verlander is 83-52 with a 3.81 ERA in 5 full seasons so far but his career has (for the most part) just begun, so he has a long way to go.

Quite frankly, it's up to Verlander, last year's AL winner Andrew Bailey and Feliz to be the next ROY-pitcher to make the Hall of Fame because none of the other 29 are going in. That's for sure.

So for the foreseeable future it looks like Tom Terrific will continue to stand alone.

Getty Images
As for NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey--

Posey became the 9th catcher to win the award and contrary to pitchers, 2 of the prior 8 are in the Hall of Fame and one is waiting in the wings. Not bad for ROY-catchers, soon 3 of 8 will be Hall of Famers as opposed to 1 of 32 for pitchers.

The 2 ROY-catchers in the Hall of Fame are Johnny Bench (1968 NL winner) and Carlton Fisk (1972 AL winner) and waiting in the wings is Mike Piazza, the 1993 NL winner. Piazza becomes eligible for induction in 2013 and should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

NY Daily News

So will Posey someday be the 4th ROY-catcher to make the Hall of Fame? Things look very promising for the young kid. That's for sure.

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