Pittsburgh Pirates: Four Players Robbed of NL Rookie of the Year

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 9: Outfielder Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats during a Major League Baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on August 9, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Cardinals defeated the Pirates 7-3. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 9: Outfielder Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats during a Major League Baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on August 9, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Cardinals defeated the Pirates 7-3. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 5
Next
PITTSBURGH, PA – 1982: Pitcher Don Robinson #43 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1982 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – 1982: Pitcher Don Robinson #43 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1982 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Don Robinson

Don Robinson’s 1978 season was one of the more underrated seasons in Pirate history. The right handed pitcher posted very solid numbers during his first big league season, but finished 3rd in voting despite truly deserving the award.

Through 228 innings of work, Robinson had a 3.47 ERA, 3.33 FIP and 1.13 WHIP. In terms of era adjusted numbers, he had a 95 ERA-, 108 ERA+ and 92 FIP-. This all made him an above average pitcher.

Robinson was never a big strikeout pitcher, which was shown by his 14.8% strikeout rate, but walked just 6.1% of the 939 batters he faced. He also only allowed 20 long balls for a 0.79 HR/9 rate.

That year, Robinson actually was tied among all pitchers in MLB for 30th in fWAR at 3.4. However, no National League rookies came close to him. Robinson’s 3rd place finish was behind legendary defender Ozzie Smith, and Atlanta’s winner, Bob Horner. Horner batted .266/.314/.539 with 23 long balls, and a 124 wRC+ across 359 plate appearances. He was a big time power threat as indicated by the amount of homeruns he hit, and his outstanding .272 isolated slugging percentage. However, Horner only had a 2.3 fWAR, over a whole win lower than Robinson.

facebooktwitterreddit