I think that the rookie of the year award means the first year you are in the MLB, because all the other leagues around the world, from the minors, to Japan leagues they arnt even close to being like the MLB. The MLB is a lot more difficult than any other baseball league.
Sure it does seem a little werid about a 28 year old man winning a rookie of the year award. But the MLB is totally different look at the hard time
Matsui is doing in the league he is adjusting very slowing becasue of all the different pitches that you see.