Top Ten Rookie of the Year Classes of All Time

Asher B. Chancey, BaseballEvolution.com

 

Jason Bay and Bobby Crosby had pretty good rookie seasons this year, but there is a lot of work to be done if they hope to crack this list.

 

10. 1991: Jeff Bagwell and Chuck Knoblauch

Isn't it funny out one little freakout in the playoffs, followed by a complete loss of all baseball skill, can make the baseball viewing public almost completely forget how good a player once was?

 

Top Ten Things We've Forgotten About Chuck Knoblauch.

10 Rookie spark plug on Minnesota Twins "worst to first" World Series team in 1991.

9 Scored 100 or more runs 6 times, with 140 in 1996.

8 Over 400 career steals, including 62/72 in 1997.

7 Twins got Christian Guzman and Eric Milton for him in 1998.

6 Retired at the age of 33 with over 1100 career runs scored.

5 .378 career OBP.

4 Finished with more walks than strikeouts for his career.

3 45 doubles in 109 games in 1994.

2 Had ten or more triples twice.

1 Finished his career by playing 80 games for the Royals in 2002.

 

9. 1993: Mike Piazza and Tim Salmon

Piazza is the greatest offensive catcher of all time, and Salmon is the greatest Angel of all time.

 

8. 1997: Nomar Garciaparra and Scott Rolen

Two of the premiere players in the game today. Barring injuries, both should make a push for the Hall of Fame one day, though injuries are the key for Nomar. Still, a fabulously productive duo

 

7. 2001: Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki

There is no reason these two should not become the greatest ROY duo of all time. They have already put together two of the greatest first four season sets of all time.

 

6. 1959: Willie McCovey and Bob Allison

Bob Allison is a remarkably underrated player, given that he is rarely rated at all. In just 13 seasons, he hit 256 home runs, and finished his career with a 127 OPS+. McCovey, of course, is one of the all time greats.

 

5. 1951: Willie Mays and Gil McDougald

This is a funny situation. How badly would "the other guy" have to be in order for "Willie Mays and the other guy" to not make the Top Ten list. For what it's worth, McDougald spent 10 years playing middle infield for the Yankees, never accomplished much, and then retired at the age of 32. Could have been worse: he could have been Jerome Walton.

 

4. 1964: Dick Allen and Tony Oliva

Tony Oliva burst onto the scene big time, was largely unappreciated in his time, and was washed up by the age of 34. Dick Allen also burst onto the scene big time, was largely hated in his time by teammates, fans, coaches, GMs, and opponents, won the 1972 NL MVP, and was washed up by the age of 34.

 

3. 1956: Frank Robinson and Luis Aparicio

Frank Robinson is one of the all time great home run hitters of any era, is the only player to win an MVP in both leagues, and came within 60 hits of 3000. Luis Aparicio was a nine time Gold Glover at shortstop who stole 500 career bases and, while not an offensive threat, did not hurt himself at the plate by striking out a lot.

 

2. 1977: Andre Dawson and Eddie Murray

Eddie Murray is already in the Hall of Fame, having reached the 500 HR and 3000 plateaus. Andre Dawson is one of the four members of the 300-300 club, should one day make the Hall of Fame, and won the 1987 MVP. On combined numbers, these two would take the cake: 942 HR, 3508 RBI, 1063 2B, exactly 3000 runs, 424 SB. Impressive numbers.

 

1. 1967: Tom Seaver and Rod Carew

Interesting coincidence: Seaver is in the 300 Win club, and Carew is in the 3000 hit club.