Tampa Bay's Even Longoria is most people's front runner for the American League's Rookie of the Year Award. But Texas' David Murphy was quietly putting up competitive numbers for the Rangers.
Longoria overshadowed Murphy as a more prototypical ROY, young, playing with the team he was in the minors with and being on a first place contender.
The 22-year-old Longoria was the third pick overall in the 2006 draft by the Rays and quickly moved up through the system making it to AA in 06 and AAA in 07. Longoria played in his first major league game this year.
The 26-year-old Murphy took a different path to a regular position. Murphy was the 17th overall pick in the 2003 draft by the Boston Red Sox. He moved from AA to the majors in 2006 and played in 20 games for Boston. The 2007 season saw Murphy play in just three games for the Red Sox before being traded to Texas.
Murphy finished the 2007 campaign playing in 43 games as a Ranger. But even with time spent in the majors Murphy still qualifies as being a rookie.
Longoria's numbers appear more gaudy: 22 home runs, 71 RBIs and an average of .278, but Murphy's 15 home runs, 74 RBIs and .275 average aren't far behind. Also, Murphy has 32 fewer strike outs than Longoria in 34 more at-bats.
Longoria has eight errors in the field to Murphy's two, but that is playing a more demanding third base than outfield. But Murphy also has four outfield assists.
But the main stat that would be held against Murphy is in the standings. Longoria's Rays are still maintaining a 2.5 game lead in the AL East while the Rangers are 12 games back in the West and 6.5 back in the Wild Card.
Now there is something else that's stopping Murphy from making a run at the award, an injury.
After colliding with the Yankees' Ivan Rodriguez in Wednesday night's loss Murphy was placed on the 15-day DL with a right knee sprain (not as bad as originally thought) that will keep him out of the lineup.
It would have been hard for Murphy to win the award, but now seems nearly impossible. Just another day at the ballpark with another injury for the Rangers.