Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson received high honors for their outstanding first full seasons in the Major Leagues on Monday, as they were named the winners of this year's Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards.
Kimbrel, 23, won the National League's award and was the seventh member of the Braves -- and fifth in the Atlanta era -- to do so. Hellickson joined teammate Evan Longoria to become the second player in Tampa Bay team history to be recognized as the American League's top rookie.
Kimbrel, who set a Major League record for saves by a rookie with 46, was the favorite for the award. His saves total led the NL, and he finished with a 2.10 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 77 innings for Atlanta, which just nearly missed out on the playoffs after a late-season slide.Ivan Nova finished 4th in the AL voting, picking up just one first place vote. Voting results can be found here.
Hellickson, 24, was a workhorse in a young Tampa Bay rotation that helped fuel the Rays to a late-season surge and into the playoffs via the AL Wild Card. He was 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA, ranking eighth in the league in ERA and striking out 117 hitters in 189 innings.