10/21/11 7:18 PM ET
Kimbrel, Freeman nominated for Players Choice
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
The Players Choice Awards are determined via ballots cast by Major League players in September. Winners will be announced exclusively on MLB Network, Thursday, Nov. 3, from 8-9 p.m. ET during the broadcast of The 2011 Players Choice Awards Presented by 2K Sports.
Kimbrel enjoyed one of the finest seasons for a rookie closer until he stumbled down the stretch. Still, the 23-year-old right-handed reliever set a Major League rookie record with 46 saves and recorded 127 strikeouts in just 77 innings.
Before blowing three of his final six save opportunities, Kimbrel was essentially automatic during a stretch of 37 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings that spanned from June 12 to Sept. 9. He limited opponents to a .178 batting average this season and recorded 14.84 strikeouts per nine innings.
Freeman might have been the most consistent performer in the Braves' lineup this year. The 22-year-old first baseman batted .282 with 21 homers and a .795 OPS. He batted .295 with 18 homers in his final 128 games of the season.
Freeman led NL rookies in batting average, hits (161), doubles (32), homers, RBIs, on-base percentage (.346) and slugging percentage (.448).
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.