Yonder Alonso Is Making a Very Strong Case for NL Rookie of the Year

Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIAugust 10, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 18: Yonder Alonso #23 of the San Diego Padres tosses the ball to first base for the out after fielding the ball in the 8th inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Petco Park on July 18, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
Kent Horner/Getty Images

Bryce Harper.

Anthony Rizzo.

What do those two names have in common? Both are rookies who have grabbed a lot of headlines and buzz among Major League Baseball fans.

Taking absolutely nothing away from the previously mentioned players, San Diego Padre Yonder Alonso is quietly proving himself to be the National League Rookie of the Year.

True, when with the Cincinnati Reds, Alonso did make appearances with the big club in 2010 and 2011. He was then traded to the Padres in a deal that sent Mat Latos to the Reds.

The deal has worked out for both clubs.

Alonso is now able to flourish at first base. He is no longer behind Joey Votto and is filling the void left by Anthony Rizzo, whom the Padres traded away,

For those sitting at home wondering, Alonso is indeed considered a rookie; per the official rules and regulations provided by Major League Baseball

A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).

Alonso had 29 at-bats in 2010 and 88 in 2011 (or 117 total at-bats), making 2012 a qualified rookie season.

He's been extremely effective this season for the rebuilding Padres.

Alonso has appeared in 108 games, which leads all NL rookies. 

With 105 hits, he is only one hit behind the NL rookie leader, Zack Cozart, for that honor. Above that, he owns 31 doubles, which leads all rookies, let alone the National League.

His 41 RBI is third in the NL, while his .272 batting average is eighth among NL rookies.

That said, he ranks fourth (among rookies) in OBP at .342, adding a .399 SLG and .741 OPS.

Across the board, Alonso is neck and neck with Harper and Rizzo for the distinct honor of being considered a Rookie of the Year.

Oddly enough, he's doing it with half the press Rizzo and Harper are receiving.