We kick off The Piazzas with the Best Rookie category. No Mets player has won the NL Rookie of the Year Award since Dwight Gooden in 1984, but that should change in 2014.
The nominees for Best Rookie are:
Travis d'Arnaud: d'Arnaud was a disaster through the first two months of the season, posting a .544 OPS before a demotion to Triple-A Vegas in early June. He went bananas in Vegas though, cracking 14 extra-base hits in just 55 at-bats. The hot hitting continued upon his return to the big leagues, as he slashed .272/.319/.486 with 10 home runs in 276 plate appearances to close the season. His walk rate decreased but his power increased. I'll take it. d'Arnaud struggled at blocking pitches in the dirt and throwing out base-stealers, but he continued to excel at pitch framing. He'll be 26 years old in 2015; seems like a good age to put together a start-to-finish strong season.
Jacob deGrom: What might prevent deGrom from winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award? Perhaps old-school voters who overvalue Billy Hamilton's stolen bases, or sabermetric true-believer voters who take Hamilton's bonkers defensive metrics at face value. deGrom deserves the award, what with his 2.69 ERA and 2.67 FIP in 140.1 innings pitched. And on top of it, he hit a respectable .217/.234/.261. The Piazza would be a small consolation prize if he doesn't win the NL ROY, but let's hope he gets both.
Jeurys Familia: The former starting pitching prospect had a breakout season as a reliever. Not only did he rack up strikeouts and ground balls, but he pitched a ton of innings: 77.1, good for third-most in the league among relief pitchers. Fewer walks would be nice, but Familia is still young and he improved as the season went on. He deserves a shot to win the closer role in 2015. It's just a hunch, but I think Familia has a shot at the Piazza for Best Relief Pitcher.
And the Piazza for Best Rookie, in a unanimous vote, goes to...
Jacob deGrom! Jacob was all smiles after accepting his Piazza.
Here is how everyone voted:
|Aaron Yorke||Jacob deGrom||Travis d'Arnaud||Jeurys Familia|
|Andrew Cohen||Jacob deGrom||Jeurys Familia||Travis d'Arnaud|
|Chris McShane||Jacob deGrom||Jeurys Familia||Travis d'Arnaud|
|Chris Strohmaier||Jacob deGrom||Travis d'Arnaud||Jeurys Familia|
|Colby Conetta||Jacob deGrom||Jeurys Familia||Travis d'Arnaud|
|Eric Simon||Jacob deGrom||Travis d'Arnaud||Matt den Dekker|
|James Kannengieser||Jacob deGrom||Jeurys Familia||Travis d'Arnaud|
|Jeffrey Litt||Jacob deGrom||Travis d'Arnaud||Jeurys Familia|
|Jeffrey Paternostro||Jacob deGrom||Jeurys Familia||Travis d'Arnaud|
|Joseph Wolkin||Jacob deGrom||Travis d'Arnaud||Jeurys Familia|
|Matthew Callan||Jacob deGrom||Jeurys Familia||Wilmer Flores|
|Michael Avallone||Jacob deGrom||Travis d'Arnaud||Jeurys Familia|
|Nicholas Walsh||Jacob deGrom||Jeurys Familia||Travis d'Arnaud|
|Scot Cohen||Jacob deGrom||Jeurys Familia||Travis d'Arnaud|
|Steven Schreiber||Jacob deGrom||Jeurys Familia||Travis d'Arnaud|
|Sydney Hunte||Jacob deGrom||Travis d'Arnaud||Jeurys Familia|
And here is the final vote tally, using a 3-2-1 points system:
|Matt den Dekker||1|
Now it's your turn to vote. We'll summarize the community awards in a post at the conclusion of The Piazzas.