MLB Rookie of The Year Power Rankings: Has Buster Posey Locked It Up?

Dan Tylicki@DanTylickiAnalyst ISeptember 7, 2010

MLB Rookie of The Year Power Rankings: Has Buster Posey Locked It Up?

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    SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 14:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants in action against the San Diego Padres during an MLB game at AT&T Park on August 14, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    With just a few weeks to go, the year of the rookie is set to come to a close in baseball, and what a year it was. So many great rookies appeared on the scene, many of whom would win the Rookie of the Year Award no problem most years. Of course, this is not most years. We have the performers, the hyped stars, and Stephen Strasburg this year, among all the other rookie to sneak on the scene that you may not have heard of.

    The top five candidates in the AL and Nl, in my opinion, are listed. Some names included and excluded will probably surprise you; I'm looking past any hype and just looking at how well they have performed this year. There are so many names in the NL to choose from that many will be left off, even some that others may consider frontrunners. There are fewer in the AL, yet it is just as difficult to pinpoint a winner.

American League: 5. John Jaso

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    NEW YORK - JULY 17:  John Jaso #28 of the Tampa Bay Rays bats against the New York Yankees on July 17, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The starting catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, John Jaso has had a very solid season, yet has flown completely under the radar. In 91 games, he has a .281 batting average and 45 RBI, and ended up playing better than Carlos Santana, even excluding the latter's season ending injury.

4. Brennan Boesch

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    DETROIT - JULY 09: Brennan Boesch #26 of the Detroit Tigers singles to right field scoring teammate Magglio Ordonez #30 in the first inning, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead over the Minnesota Twins during the game on July 9, 2010 at Comerica Park in Detroit,
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    At the all-star break, Boesch and his .342 average made him the runaway leader for the American League RoY Award, and for good reason: the Tigers outfielder was playing so well he made Austin Jackson look like an afterthought.

    Since then, however, has hit .156. A .266/14/62 statline is still great for a rookie, but it's nothing compared to how he was once playing. He needs to get out of this funk if he wants to win.

3. Neftali Feliz

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    BALTIMORE - AUGUST 22:  Neftali Feliz #30 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on August 22, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Rangers beat the Orioles 6-4.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Were this 10 or 15 years ago, perhaps Feliz would be the frontrunner, if only for his 34 saves, which is approaching the record for a rookie. These days, however, saves are not looked at as such a big deal, at least not in comparison to earlier. Yes, Andrew Bailey won the award last year, but Feliz hasn't been quite as dominant, plus the top two rookies have been playing extremely well.

2. Danny Valencia

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    CHICAGO - AUGUST 10: Danny Valencia #19 of the Minnesota Twins takes a swing against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 10, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Twins defeated the White Sox 12-6. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    If Valencia has been playing the whole season like most of his counterparts, he'd be running away with this award. In 63 games (at most he can finish with 88), he is batting .343 with 16 doubles and 26 RBI. The batting average would jump out at anyone, and his fielding has been very solid as well. Could he win the award with that few games played, though?

    Ryan Howard won it in a similar matter in 2005, but the 2005 class is nothing like the 2010 class. Still, stranger things have happened.

1. Austin Jackson

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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 16:  Austin Jackson #14 of the Detroit Tigers makes a catch for an out against the New York Yankees on August 16, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    With Jackson, who's lead the race a good deal of the season, on one end you have 145 strikeouts, which is a ridiculously high number. On the other hand, you have a .305 batting average, nine triples, 22 stolen bases, and is playing solidly at center field. He would get my vote right now, but he has to keep producing and hold off Danny Valencia.

National League: 5. Gaby Sanchez

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    PHOENIX - JULY 10:  Infielder Gaby Sanchez #14 of the Florida Marlins in action during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 10, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 5-4.  (Photo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Unlike the others on this list, Sanchez has gotten little fanfare, and admittedly I'm not sure why. He has 16 HR and 72 RBI in his first season, and has been much better than his far more hyped teammate, Mike Stanton.

4. Jason Heyward

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    ATLANTA - AUGUST 31:  Jason Heyward #22 of the Atlanta Braves against the New York Mets at Turner Field on August 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    I can't put Mr. Hype any higher than here. He's played well this season, as have everyone else on this list, as well as about 10 other National League players who missed the cut. His stats are nearly identical to Sanchez though, yet everyone seems willing to just hand over the title to Heyward.

    A .283/16/65 could be good enough most years to win the award, but this is the year of the rookie, 2010, and Heyward is not the best rookie, not at all.

3. Starlin Castro

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    CINCINNATI - AUGUST 29:  Starlin Castro #13 of the Chicago Cubs swings at a pitch during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 29, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Castro was tough to place, mainly because, as a fielder, he has been less than impressive. Beyond that, his problems with the Cubs over the past day could realistically knock him out of the top five, since voters remember that.

    As a hitter, however, Castro has been great. A .317 batting average that's good for 4th in the NL and 29 doubles has made the Cubs feel they have something to look forward to in the future. His strikeout count is also a lot less than Sanchez and Heyward.

2. Buster Posey

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    SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 14:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after scoring the game winning run on a single by Juan Uribe against the San Diego Padres in the eleventh inning during an MLB game at AT&T Park on August 14, 2010 in San
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Has Buster Posey locked up the RoY Award? Nope, in fact he's not even first. He has not played the full season like the others on this list have, though in spite of that his numbers have been impressive. .326/11/55 in 85 games is a pretty nice statline, and his hitting has kept the Giants afloat in the NL West, as they haven't had much besides a temporary explosion from Aubrey Huff in the middle of the season.

    He's close to breaking through and finishing the season as the Rookie of the Year, but he needs to continue to hold this team together and continue to play well.

1. Jaime Garcia

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    ST. LOUIS - AUGUST 22: Starter Jaime Garcia #54 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the San Francisco Giants at Busch Stadium on August 22, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    While Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter have again had great seasons, Garcia has given the Cardinals perhaps the best 1-2-3 starting rotation in the major leagues. I threw about Posey as the leader, as well as Garcia, but in the end, I had to give it to the St. Louis pitcher.

    A 13-6 record and a 2.35 ERA is great from anyone, but from a rookie it's just phenomenal. If his last few pitching performances can be great, and if he can hold off Buster Posey, he will be a very deserving Rookie of the Year.