For the first time since Robinson Cano in 2005, my New York Yankees claim one of the American League's top ROY candidates!
Although the body type is similar, Nova was not forged in the Pineda mold. He doesn't strikeout out many hitters or even try to; he pitches to contact and thrives on getting grounders in the direction of the Yankee infielders. More than 50% of his outs are recorded on the ground.
Nova leads all MLB rookies in wins. That's pretty remarkable for someone who was sent down to the Minors for most of July and was given limited opportunities in a 6-man starting rotation upon returning.
Since being recalled from AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Nova has had a sparkling strikeout-to-walk ratio while still throwing a mid-90s sinking fastball.
His near-4.00 ERA in 2011 doesn't adequately represent his performance. Making half his appearances in a hitter-friendly ballpark handicaps his stats the same way that Pineda benefits from his home field.
Nova's sub-par performance at the beginning of the year cannot be forgotten, but there is plenty to be said about a guy who hasn't lost since June 3!
*Notable Notes: 6th among all AL pitchers in GB% . . . 16-3 as starter (best in MLB).