Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (via Twitter ) has gotten the breakdown of the BBWAA voting for Rookie of the Year and the four voters that broke with the consensus of Buster Posey and Jason Heyward as the National League's top rookies.
Dejan Kovacevic, the Pirates beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , didn't vote for Heyward. He voted Posey first and then a pair of Pirates, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata.
Yasuhi Kikuchi of Kyodo News voted Florida's Gaby Sanchez first, followed by Heyward and St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia.
Sanchez's other first-place vote came from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald.
Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News gave Garcia his first-place vote.
UPDATE: Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chroicle has spoken to Kikuchi about his vote. Kikuchi said he didn't vote for Posey because of his May 29 call-up.
"Obviously it was a tough decision," Kikuchi said (via Schulman's Twitter ). "To me, Rookie of the Year is the best rookie player throughout the whole season."
UPDATE: Kovacevic checks in on Twitter with his reasoning:
"Felt very firmly about Posey, thus chose him 1st. Felt Walker/Tabata had strong years, comparable to rest of class. ... Neither Walker nor Tabata is off-the-board choice, as seen from list of NL rookies with 400 PA, ranked by OPS. ... Obviously saw way more of Walker/Tabata than others, but that also gave perspective on them performing at high level in poor lineup/setting."
The one problem with that is that Heyward was second in OPS among NL rookies with 400 plate appearances or more, ahead of Walker.
He is right that Walker isn't off the board. Tabata had a .746 OPS, more than 100 points lower than Heyward. It appears Kovacevic gave the local kids some recognition with his second- and third-place votes, but wanted to make sure his idea of the "right" player won.
" Feeling always has been with voting that broadest variety of perspectives bring best results. Few can argue final overall tally, I'd think."
I don't agree, but see where Kovacevic is coming from. As an aside, having read Kovacevic for years, he's far from a homer, although he's already been accused of being one. I don't agree with his vote or even his reasoning, but isn't that why you have a vote instead of just a decision? In the end, the trophy is going to Posey and Heyward is second.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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