It’s highly unlikely for a rookie to win the Cy Young award—only former Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela has accomplished the feat (1981)—but Rangers ace Yu Darvish has a legitimate shot at becoming the second rookie ever to win the Cy Young.
Before making the transition to the MLB, Darvish was a highly decorated pitcher in Japan’s most prestigious baseball league, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). While playing in the NPB, Darvish won two Pacific League MVP titles (2007, 2009) and a Sawamura Award (2007), which is awarded to the best pitcher in the NPB.
Since his MLB debut back in mid-April, Darvish has shown flashes of greatness. His play has already placed him as a front-runner in early season Rookie of the Year discussions.
The pitching competition in the AL is pretty stiff. Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox currently owns the American League’s best starting record (8-2) and ERA (2.05), according to ESPN.com. Darvish will also have to outshine last year’s AL Cy Young award recipient, Justin Verlander, who has been red hot with 95 strikeouts in 2012.
However, Darvish has the ability to surpass everyone’s expectations and reel in a highly coveted AL Cy Young award.