McGehee knows he's a long-shot for rookie honor

Baseball’s Rookie of the Year Award winners will be unveiled Monday, but Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee won’t be sitting next to the phone.

“Hopefully I can be a good trivia question: Who finished second or third behind so-and-so in the 2009 rookie vote?” McGehee said near the end of his breakout season. “I would be happy for anyone who wins. You can make a really good argument for six or seven guys.”

The Brewers did their part to make the argument for McGehee in the National League half of the rookie race. During the final homestand, they distributed signs that promoted “MVPrince” on one side and “Casey for Rook-hee of the Year” on the other.

A waiver claim from the Cubs who reported to 2009 Spring Training as a long shot to make the Brewers’ roster, McGehee took advantage of incumbent third baseman Bill Hall’s continued slump and became the team’s most pleasant surprise. He played in only 116 games, but led NL rookies with 66 RBIs, ranked second with a .301 batting average and tied for second with 16 home runs.

McGehee finished strong, batting .337 with five homers and 26 RBIs in September and October to win NL Rookie of the Month. Only the Phillies’ Ryan Howard, with 27 RBIs, had more than McGehee.

Still, McGehee doesn’t think he’ll win when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announces the top rookie on Monday afternoon. The award is decided by a vote of BBWAA members.

“I never set that as something I was worried about or even wanted to think about,” he said of the award. “To me, it’s just as nice to be mentioned in that category. So that’s the thrill of it for me, and I’ll look back and be proud that my name was in there.

“But I still feel the same as I have all along. For the most part, it’s an award for big-time prospects. It would be awesome if somebody proved me wrong, but by no means do I think that’s going to happen.”

For McGehee’s predictions and some other candidates for the NL rookie honor, check out my story on MLB.com.  And for those of you who want to make your own pick, I attached PDF files that include the NL’s rookie pitching and batting departmental leaders.

NL rookie hitting leaders.pdf
NL rookie pitching leaders.pdf

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