For Ramos, 24, the news comes two days after Venezuelan commandoes rescued him from the kidnappers who abducted him Wednesday outside his home in Venezuela. This season, Ramos cemented himself as part of the Nationals’ future and as one of the game’s best young catchers. He supplanted Ivan Rodriguez, his childhood idol and close friend, as the Nationals’ regular catcher and hit .267/.334/.445 with 15 home runs while playing sparkling defense.
Espinosa, 24, provided a clear solution to the Nationals’ woes at second base, a position at which they had cycled through 25 players since baseball returned in 2005. Espinosa played defense at a near-Gold Glove level, and while a second-half slump took him out of the running to win rookie of the year, he still finished with 21 home runs while hitting .236/.323/.414 in 158 games.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman finished second and Phillies right-handed pitcher Vance Worley, a college teammate of Espinosa’s at Long Beach State, finished third. Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter finished fifth, and the final two vote-getters were Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney and Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen.
In the American League, Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson won by a comfortable margin over Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo.