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Angels' Mark Trumbo is runner-up for AL rookie of the year

First baseman, who led all rookies with 29 home runs and 87 runs batted in, finishes second to Tampa Bay pitcher Jeremy Hellickson in voting by the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America.

November 14, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Mark Trumbo hits a three-run home run, his 20th of the year, in the fourth inning in the Angels' 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Mark Trumbo hits a three-run home run, his 20th of the year, in the fourth… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

How is this for progress? Nine months after being considered a longshot to make the Angels opening-day roster, Mark Trumbo on Monday finished second to Tampa Bay's Jeremy Hellickson in voting for American League rookie of the year.

"Not a disappointment at all; glad to even be considered for the award," Trumbo said. "Individual honors are great, but team accomplishments have always been my focus."

Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was a unanimous choice for the National League award after setting a rookie record with 46 saves.

Kimbrel, 23, is the 10th player to be a unanimous rookie-of-the-year pick and the first since Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001.

Hellickson, 24, had a 13-10 record and 2.95 earned-run average in 29 starts, helping the Rays win the AL's wild-card playoff berth. He drew 17 of 28 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America.

Trumbo, 25, received five first-place votes to finish ahead of Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer.

"It's something I really wanted to win," Hellickson said. "I felt like there were three or four other guys who were just as deserving, so it's very exciting."

"There was no wrong choice," he added. "[Trumbo and Hosmer are] both definitely well-deserving. I played against both those guys. Trumbo got me in St. Pete this year, so I definitely know what he's capable of doing."

Trumbo, bidding to become the first Angels player since Tim Salmon in 1993 to win the award, led all rookies with 29 home runs and 87 runs batted in after taking over for the injured Kendrys Morales at first base. That was the most home runs by an AL rookie since Nomar Garciaparra hit 30 for the Boston Red Sox in 1997.

"I am grateful for the opportunity I had during my rookie season and I am looking forward to building on it next year," Trumbo said. "I'm just continuing to try to improve as an all-around player."

Trumbo learned in late September that he had a stress fracture in his right foot, which cut his season short. It was an injury he played with for at least a month. He is expected to begin rehabilitating the injury in late December.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

Times staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report.

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