2) Award-winning rookie
The two early grand slams set the stage for a sensational rookie season for Valencia. If sensational seems a bit exaggerated, consider everything he achieved in just 85 games.
For a start, he hit .394 with runners in scoring position, best in the AL among players with at least 75 plate appearances in that situation. Overall, his batting average, slugging percentage and OPS were highest among all rookies with at least 300 plate appearances.
Throw in the fifth-best fielding percentage (no pun intended) among all AL third basemen, and it’s fair to say Valencia left his mark on the league. He finished third in the voting for 2010 AL Rookie of the Year, while being named to Baseball America‘s All-Rookie team and the 52nd annual Topps Major League Rookie All-Star team.