Daily Archives: August 31, 2011
The Atlanta Braves‘ Craig Kimbrel has broken the major league rookie saves record, topping Neftali Perez‘s mark of 4o set last season by one – so far. There’s still another month and change left in the season.
Everyone saw it coming as Kimbrel also broke the rookie all-star break record with a serious 27. He notched his 41st last night against the Washington Nationals, posting a 9th inning goose egg.
Kazuhiro Sasaki is the oldest “rookie” here. He was 32 and had been playing in Japan for a decade before making the jump. Ligtenberg is next, at 26.
Rookies with a lot of saves is a recent trend, and perhaps a reflection of the increased importance teams place on securing a shut-down closer (thank you Mariano Rivera). Six of the seven top rookie closers did it post-1998.
1. Craig Kimbrel – 41 (Atlanta Braves, 2011)
2. Neftali Perez – 40 (Texas Rangers, 2010)
3. Kazuhiro Sasaki – 37 (Seattle Mariners, 2000)
4. Todd Worrell – 36 (St. Louis Cardinals, 1986)
5. Jonathan Papelbon – 35 (Boston Red Sox, 2006)
6. Billy Koch – 31 (Toronto Blue Jays, 1999)
7. Kerry Ligtenberg – 30 (Atlanta Braves, 1998)