Crosby is cream of AL rookie crop

A's shortstop Bobby Crosby likely will be Oakland's fifth Rookie of the Year since 1986.

Originally Published: October 1, 2004
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
Back in spring training, most people figured the American League Rookie of the Year award would come down to two players: 1) Bobby Crosby, who had a mandate to replace Miguel Tejada at shortstop in Oakland; and 2) Joe Mauer, who seemed poised and mature enough, even at age 21, to replace A.J. Pierzynski and handle a full season behind the plate for the Minnesota Twins.

Mauer's candidacy pretty much went kaput in the second game of the season, when he injured his left knee chasing a foul pop back to the screen. Mauer had surgery, returned for six weeks in the middle of the season, then re-injured the knee in July and shut it down after only 107 at-bats.

Lew Ford and Justin Morneau, two other products of the Minnesota farm system, did some impressive things offensively. But they both entered this season with too much service time to qualify as rookies.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer