2013 MLB Rookie of the Year Stock Watch, Week 22
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Every season, fans are introduced to a slew of new rookies.
The National League has boasted a particularly exciting crop of future stars, with youngsters like Jose Fernandez, Yasiel Puig, Julio Teheran, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Shelby Miller all gracing the field.
One could argue that if any of those players were in the American League instead, any of them could take home Rookie of the Year honors due to the comparative dearth of talent in the Junior Circuit.
When considering the "Rookie of the Year Stock Watch," it’s important to note that some players are not eligible. For instance, Yan Gomes (98 at-bats and 83 active days) and Leonys Martin (54 at-bats and 113 active days) are not eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award, as they’ve exceeded 45 active roster days prior to the 2013 season.
Read on to view the 2013 MLB Rookie of the Year stock watch, Week 22 Edition.
All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and current as of September 4.
National League: 1. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins
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Stats: 26 GS, 158.2 IP, 173 K, 53 BB, 2.33 ERA, 168 ERA+
Considering Yasiel Puig’s incredible production numbers, it would be a pretty bold move to not hand him the Rookie of the Year Award. That said, Jose Fernandez’s 2013 season still might be a slight notch more impressive.
The 21-year-old has posted a 2.33 ERA (versus a park-adjusted 168 ERA+), 1.000 WHIP and 3.26 K/BB. Fernandez also leads the league in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.0) and is third in strikeouts per nine innings (9.8).
For a pitcher who had not pitched above Advanced-A prior to 2013, Fernandez is more than proving he belongs in the big leagues.
American League: 1. Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
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Stats: .283 BA, 122 OPS+, 9.0 BB%, 9 HR, 5 SB, 269 PA
The Tampa Bay Rays waited until June 17 to give Wil Myers the call in 2013. Their reasoning was, of course, not based on “readiness,” but rather, it was about pushing back Myers’ service time clock.
Late start aside, the 22-year-old has been a lineup fixture for the Rays. Myers has posted a .283 batting average, a park-adjusted 122 OPS+, nine home runs and five stolen bases over 269 plate appearances.
Even though the Rays traded ace pitcher James Shields this past offseason in order to acquire Myers from the Kansas City Royals, the move has already paid dividends for the small-market organization.
National League: 2. Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
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Stats: .351 BA, 173 OPS+, 7.6 BB%, 14 HR, 10 SB, 341 PA
Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers’ payroll is over $216 million this season, Yasiel Puig—who earns just $2 million—has led the team’s offense.
Puig first burst onto the scene in June, when he posted a .436 batting average with seven home runs over the course of the month. On the season, the 22-year-old owns a .351 batting average, a park-adjusted 173 OPS+, 14 home runs and 10 stolen bases over 341 plate appearances.
Needless to say, the seven-year, $42 million contract the Dodgers inked Puig to in 2012 now looks like highway robbery.
American League: 2. Jose Iglesias, IF, Detroit Tigers
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Stats: .318 BA, 107 OPS+, 4.4 BB%, 2 HR, 4 SB, 339 PA
As a minor leaguer, Jose Iglesias was never known for his bat. In fact, the middle infielder owned a career .257 batting average and .622 OPS over 1,209 plate appearances before this season.
But that has all changed in 2013. Between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers this season, Iglesias has hit to the tune of a .318 batting average, a .764 OPS and a park-adjusted 107 OPS+.
The Red Sox surprisingly traded the 23-year-old Rookie of the Year Award candidate to Detroit at the deadline in a three-way deal that landed veteran pitcher Jake Peavy in Boston. Assuming Iglesias continues to hit like he has, the Tigers will have themselves a valuable middle infielder for many years to come.
National League: 3. Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves
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Stats: 26 GS, 161.1 IP, 148 K, 42 BB, 3.01 ERA, 129 ERA+
The third-place slot in the NL could have also gone to either Hyun-Jin Ryu or Shelby Miller, but Julio Teheran is perhaps more deserving. Teheran has actually bested both Ryu (park-adjusted 117 ERA+) and Miller (117 ERA+) with a 129 ERA+.
On the season, the 22-year-old owns a 3.01 ERA (versus 129 ERA+), 1.20 WHIP and 3.52 K/BB over 161.1 innings. His ace-like performances have helped the Atlanta Braves build and maintain their gigantic 15-game lead over the Washington Nationals in the National League East.
Even though Mike Minor is considered the Braves’ No. 1 starter, Teheran isn't a slouch either.
American League: 3. Chris Archer, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
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Stats: 18 GS, 106.0 IP, 75 K, 33 BB, 3.14 ERA, 121 ERA+
Losing ace pitcher James Shields left a big void in the Tampa Bay Rays rotation. Despite still having David Price and Matt Moore, the Rays were hoping some of their youngsters would step up.
So far in 2013, Chris Archer has done his part. The 24-year-old, who was acquired in the 2011 Matt Garza trade, has posted a 3.14 ERA (versus a park-adjusted 121 ERA+), 1.12 WHIP and 2.27 K/BB over 106.0 innings.
With a three-pitch repertoire—including a fastball that averages almost 95 miles per hour—the wild-card contenders aren’t missing Shields as much as they thought they would.