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The Kevin Maas Award
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The Kevin Maas Award
by Asher B. Chancey,
April 25, 2009

It has been brought to my attention that in creating the Kevin Maas Award, and giving it a fittingly broad definition, I have actually encapsulated the potential for two distinct awards – the “fluke season by a guy who isn’t actually that good and obviously won’t be repeating the performance”, and the “fluke rookie debut over a short period of time that is likely a result of streakiness and not incredible, never before seen talent.”

My initial response to this is, “who cares?” I still like the award, and I see enough commonality between those groups of players to unify them under one marker.

But in reality, there is a wealth of opportunity here, and I think two awards will be as fun as it is appropriate. So, without further ado, it gives me great honor to announce that the Kevin Maas Award has been amended, and will now be given out annually to “the player who makes a splashy debut that common sense tells us won’t last.”

At the same time, it also gives me great pride to announce the Brady Anderson Award, given to the established major leaguer who busts out for a season-long performance that he has no chance of replicating.

We are going to need to rework the winners of these Awards. First off, the Kevin Maas Award:

2008 – Chris Davis, Texas Rangers

An exciting debut, no doubt, but let’s be for real. He’s a low walk, high strikeout guy, and major league pitchers figure out how to pitch to guys like that pretty fast.

NL Winner: Micah Hoffpauir

2007 – Hunter Pence, Houston Astros

The problem is, when a guy hits for a high average but also a lot of strikeouts and not a lot of walks over a short period of time during the first chance major league pitchers have had to look at him, it means three things: pitchers will figure the guy out the second time around; pitchers probably aren’t using their best stuff against this rookie, but won’t make that mistake again; the average is an illusion; the strikeouts are not.

Pence hit .322 with 17 homeruns in his first ever major league action in 2007. He followed it up with 25 homeruns and a .269 average in 157 games his second season.

AL Winner: Joba Chamberlain, New York Yankees

2006 – Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Weaver was amazing in 2006: 11-2, 2.56 ERA, 3:1 K:BB ratio. A true Maasian – no real reason to think his numbers were an illusion, we just knew he wouldn’t do it again.

NL Winner: Anibal Sanchez, Florida Marlins

2005 - Zach Duke, Pittsburgh Pirates (14 starts, 8-2, 1.81 ERA)

I am not completely sure I saw Duke’s collapse coming, but I am pretty sure I should have – his stuff was not dominant (58/23 K/BB in 84.2 innings), and his FIP was over a run higher than his ERA. Duke’s win-loss record and ERA were studly, but his peripherals were dudly.

NL Runner-Up: Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta Braves

AL Winner: Jonny Gomes, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Other Past Winners

2001 - Adam Dunn, Cincinnati Reds

1998 – Shane Spencer, New York Yankees

1994 – Bob Hamelin, Kansas City Royals

1992 – Cal Eldred, Milwaukee Brewers

1990 – Kevin Maas, New York Yankees

1987 – Sam Horn, Boston Red Sox

To see the Winners of the Brady Anderson Award, go here.

Questions? Concerns? Comments? The Awards Room can be reached at

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