Could Chicago Sweep Baseball's Rookie of the Year Awards?

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IAugust 4, 2009

CHICAGO - JUNE 28: Gordon Beckham #15 of the Chicago White Sox hits the ball against the Chicago Cubs on June 28, 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Cubs 6-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Could Kenny Williams and Jim Hendry be waving brooms in November?

In 2008, the Cubs' rookie standout was catcher Geovany Soto. He started the All-Star Game and won the National League's Rookie of the Year Award.

Meanwhile, on Chicago's South Side, Alexei Ramirez was a defensive Jedi the entire season and put up solid offensive numbers. He just happened to be a rookie the same season as Evan Longoria, and had to settle for runner-up to Tampa's third baseman.

But in 2009, Chicago might sweep the awards.

In front of a national television audience, the Chicago Cubs' Randy Wells made a case for the Rookie of the Year by owning the Reds in prime time. He's won eight of his last nine starts, improving his record to 8-4 on the season.

Wells also has a stellar 2.73 ERA and an outstanding 1.14 WHIP after Monday's performance.

Perhaps more important than than him keeping men from scoring has been his keeping the Cubs' bullpen from entering the game; he has 11 quality starts in 15 starts this season and has pitched past the sixth inning in eighth of his last nine starts.

Wells is going to get a lot of help in the voting from moves made at the trade deadline. When St. Louis traded for Matt Holliday, it meant a dip into Colby Rasmus' playing time.

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When the Philadelphia Phillies traded for Cliff Lee, it signaled a likely move of JA Happ to the bullpen. And Atlanta hasn't helped Tommy Hanson out much in the last month.

Wells has elevated himself to the top of the rookie class, and has done nothing to take away from a fantastic rookie season.

Also making a splash on the national stage in the last week has been the White Sox stud rookie, Gordon Beckham.

Beckham lit up the Yankees this weekend like a Christmas tree, spending more time on second base than a high school freshman.

After initially struggling with a quick transition to third base after playing shortstop throughout the rest of his baseball life, Beckham has settled in as one of the Sox's best hitters.

Of American League rookies, Beckham has the highest batting average (.311) and the most runs batted in (36). Baltimore's Nolan Reimold leads rookies in home runs (10), but Beckham is tied with his teammate, Chris Getz, for the rookie lead in doubles (17).

There are a few rookie pitchers in the American League that have impressed, but not all of them have been solid all year or as hot as Beckham of late. Detroit's Rick Porcello came out of the gates with a blast this spring, but has slowed down.

Toronto's Ricky Romero spent some time on the disabled list, and isn't in any kind of a pennant chase.

But Beckham, like Wells, is contributing in clutch situations on a team with October aspirations.

There are a couple other rookies having pretty good seasons in Chicago.

The Cubs' Jake Fox is mashing everything that gets close to his bat, but is struggling to get on the field with all the overpaid veterans the Cubs have in their lineup.

Rasmus leads NL rookies in home runs with 11 in 310 at bats; Fox has eight in only 107. He also has 27 RBI and has only struck out 16 times. His OPS is a whopping .955, which trails only Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones (1.017) among NL rookies.

The Sox's Getz is having a nice campaign in Beckham's shadow. He has 17 stolen bases in 18 attempts and has played a solid second base when called upon. His .271 batting average is among the rookie leaders in the AL as well.

There is a lot of baseball to be played over the next two months, but if the trends continue and Chicago's two baseball teams keep getting great performances from two of their young studs, there's no reason to think that Beckham and Wells couldn't both bring home some hardware this winter. 


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