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2005 All-Rookie Team

Selected by the staff of Baseball America; Text by John Manuel
October 10, 2005


2005 Rookies:
Rookies Play Big Role In Penant Races
Ryan Howard Clears His Own Path
Gomes Is Pleasant Surprise In Tampa
Huston Street Shows No Fear As Rookie Closer

While 2005 didn’t provide a monster rookie whose performance made history, such as Mark McGwire in 1987 or Mark Fidrych in 1976, this rookie class did provide amazing depth and variety. The Braves and Athletics were among the teams that relied on such players in the pennant race, while rookies like Jonny Gomes (Devil Rays) and J.J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks (Brewers) helped ignite second-half surges for their clubs. The depth and variety were such that we went two deep with our All-Rookie Team this year.

Catcher: Brian McCann, Braves

Johnny Estrada’s injury opened the door for McCann to jump from Double-A Mississippi to the big league club. He makes the first team with roommate Jeff Francoeur due to both his solid bat and his ability to handle the Braves’ pitching staff. When veteran John Smoltz makes a rookie his personal catcher, it’s a hint the rookie can catch.

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.278

.345

.400

180

20

50

7

0

5

23

18

26

1

SECOND TEAM: Ryan Doumit, Pirates

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.255

.324

.398

231

25

59

13

1

6

35

11

48

2

First Base: Ryan Howard, Phillies

Some dismissed Howard’s amazing 2004 season, when he hit 50 homers between three levels. Others thought it was immaterial because he was blocked by Jim Thome in Philadelphia. But in 2005, Howard hit more like Thome than Thome. Good luck to the Phillies figuring out what to do with a pair of true lefthanded sluggers both limited to first base.

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.288

.356

.567

312

52

90

17

2

22

63

33

100

0

SECOND TEAM Mike Jacobs, Mets

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.310

.375

.710

100

19

31

7

0

11

23

10

22

0

Second Base: Robinson Cano, Yankees

Even though most members of the organization thought Cano was ready for prime time, the Yankees still signed Tony Womack in the offseason to play second base. Cano helped jump-start the team when recalled in May, and while he played somewhat erratic defense, Cano led all rookies in doubles and batting, among those who qualified for the batting title.

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.297

.320

.458

522

78

155

34

4

14

62

16

68

1

SECOND TEAM Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.278

.342

.438

511

74

142

25

6

15

71

47

114

15

Third Base: Garrett Atkins, Rockies

As former UCLA teammate Chase Utley flourished in Philadelphia, Atkins finally got his shot in Colorado after two seasons in Triple-A. As with most Rockies hitters, he was much better at Coors Field (.339 vs. .239 on the road). Still, he played solid defense at third and led all rookies (as well as the Rockies) in RBIs.

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.287

.347

.426

519

62

149

31

1

13

89

45

72

0

SECOND TEAM Wilson Betemit, Braves

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.305

.359

.435

246

36

75

12

4

4

20

22

55

1

Shortstop: J.J. Hardy, Brewers

While Rockies rookie Clint Barmes got off to a huge start, he stumbled in his return after a broken collarbone. Hardy, on the other hand, steadily improved after getting off to a horrendous start as he came back from a shoulder injury, and he's a better defender. Hardy batted .297 with eight homers after the all-star break to help the Brewers reach .500 for the first time since 1992.

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.247

.327

.384

372

46

92

22

1

9

50

44

48

0

SECOND TEAM Clint Barmes, Rockies

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.289

.330

.434

350

55

101

19

1

10

46

16

36

6

Outfield: Jeff Francoeur, Braves

Perhaps this year's most interesting rookie, Francoeur hit a three-run homer against the Cubs in his July 7 debut and stayed scorching hot for two months. He didn’t draw his first walk (Aug. 21 against the Padres) until he had already hit 10 home runs, and while he inevitably cooled off, his bat and defense (13 assists) helped the Braves to their 14th consecutive division title.

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.300

.336

.549

257

41

77

20

1

14

45

11

58

3

SECOND TEAM Ryan Church, Nationals

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.287

.353

.466

268

41

77

15

3

9

42

24

70

3

Outfield: Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays

An 18th-round draft pick in 2001, he batted just .266 in the minors and was 3-for-29 in the majors entering 2005. His stint in Mexico last winter helped him better recognize breaking balls, however, and his improved selectivity and brute power helped him tie Nick Swisher for most home runs by an American League rookie. His bat and swagger helped turn a club with a 28-61 record at the all-star break into a winning team (39-34) in the second half.

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.282

.372

.534

348

61

98

13

6

21

54

39

113

9

SECOND TEAM Ryan Langerhans, Braves

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.267

.348

.426

326

48

87

22

3

8

42

37

75

0

Outfield: Willy Taveras, Astros

Following Carlos Beltran isn’t an easy task for any player, not to mention a rookie jumping from Double-A. Taveras, acquired from the Indians before the 2004 season, handled both tasks. He played a dynamic center field, freeing Craig Biggio for a return to the infield, and led all rookies in hits and steals. He needs to walk more and improve his baserunning savvy to maximize his speed.

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.291

.325

.341

592

82

172

13

4

3

29

25

103

34

SECOND TEAM Nick Swisher, Athletics

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.236

.322

.446

462

66

109

32

1

21

74

55

110

0

Designated Hitter: Dan Johnson, Athletics

Johnson fits the profile for a first baseman—he hits for power and controls the strike zone. He walked nearly as often as he struck out while providing Oakland’s lineup with needed punch. While the A’s surge from a 17-32 start to the brink of the playoffs fell short, a full year of Johnson should provide even more of a jolt to next season’s lineup.

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.275

.355

.451

375

54

103

21

0

15

58

50

52

0

SECOND TEAM Rickie Weeks, Brewers

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

.239

.333

.394

360

56

86

13

2

13

42

40

96

15

Starting Pitcher: Joe Blanton, Athletics

The second of Oakland’s two first-round picks in the overhyped “Moneyball” draft in 2002, Blanton was one of the American League’s best pitchers in the second half, with a 2.63 ERA in 15 starts. He handled lefthanded hitters (.226 average), and his overall ERA ranked 23rd in the major leagues and was tops among rookies who qualified for the ERA title.

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

12

12

3.53

33

33

2

0

201

178

23

67

116

.236

SECOND TEAM Zach Duke, Pirates

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

8

2

1.81

14

14

0

0

85

79

3

23

58

.253

Starting Pitcher: Gustavo Chacin, Blue Jays

After languishing in Double-A for parts of four seasons, Chacin broke out in 2004, winning 20 games including the Eastern League playoffs. He proved last season was no fluke with a consistent rookie effort, tying for first on the Jays in wins and ranking second innings pitched.

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

13

9

3.72

34

34

0

0

203

213

20

70

121

.274

SECOND TEAM Jeff Francis, Rockies

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

14

12

5.68

33

33

0

0

184

228

26

70

128

.311

Starting Pitcher: Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays

Kazmir’s season is about more than strikeouts, though he led all rookies in the category and ranked ninth among all big league starters with 8.42 per nine innings, edging Randy Johnson. Like Johnson in his younger days, Kazmir still struggles with command--his 100 walks led the majors--and like Johnson, he has electric stuff. Like Johnson, he should become an ace.

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

10

9

3.77

32

32

0

0

186

172

12

100

174

.248

SECOND TEAM Felix Hernandez, Mariners

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

4

4

2.67

12

12

0

0

84

61

5

23

77

.203

Starting Pitcher: Chris Young, Rangers

If Ameriquest Field in Arlington is the American League’s answer to Coors Field, don’t tell Young—he was equally solid at home (4.35 ERA) and on the road (4.17). The 6-foot-10 righthander and Dallas native put his basketball career firmly in his past by being the Rangers’ No. 2 starter behind Kenny Rogers.

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

12

7

4.26

31

31

0

0

165

162

19

45

137

.252

SECOND TEAM Ervin Santana, Angels

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

12

8

4.65

23

23

1

0

134

139

17

47

99

.266

Relief Pitcher: Huston Street, Athletics – Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year

The third A’s rookie to make the first team was the best one of all. While his father James Street was a college football and baseball hero in Texas, Huston has built his own story. The 2002 College World Series Most Outstanding Player earned the nod as Rookie of the Year in 2005 with numbers almost identical to those of Mariano Rivera.

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

5

1

1.72

67

0

0

23

78

53

3

26

72

.194

SECOND TEAM Jesse Crain, Twins

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

12

5

2.71

75

0

0

1

80

61

6

29

25

.179

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Sorry, the page you're looking for is either like Sidd Finch and does not exist, or like Josh Hamilton and has moved. Where would you like to go instead?

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The latest news from our top sections:

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