Rookie Watch: Who should take home the hardware?
One year after Bryce Harper and Mike Trout burst onto the scene, baseball continued its influx of remarkable young talent with the likes of Jose Fernandez, Wil Myers and Yasiel Puig ... and the list goes on and on.
Now comes the hard part for the Baseball Writers Association America members with Rookie of the Year ballots: voting for the top three rookies in each league.
Though Rookie Watch is not a member of the BWAA and doesn't get to vote, here's how RW would vote.
(NOTE: All stats through 9/27)
Despite being shut down after his Sept. 11 start, Fernandez is No. 1 on the NL ballot with a resume that ranks among some of the best debut seasons of all time. Fernandez's ERA of 2.19 was lower than Dwight Gooden's (2.60) in 1984 and Fernando Valenzuela's in (2.48) when they won Rookie of the Year. The 2.19 is also the lowest overall for a rookie since Dave Righetti's 2.05 in 1981. Fernandez also was the first pitcher to have 13 or more strikeouts in back-to-back games — 13 vs. Pittsburgh on July 28 and 14 vs. Cleveland on Aug. 2 — in a debut season since Kerry Wood did so in 1998. Plus, Fernandez's WAR of 6.9 is seventh highest in history. Only the Dodgers have had more ROY winners among NL teams since the Marlins' inception in 1993 with four, but Fernandez should even that up for Miami.
2. Yasiel Puig, Dodgers OF
From the get-go, Puig captivated, earning NL Player of the Week honors in his first seven days in the majors, hitting .464/.483/.964 in that span. He would go on to lead all rookies in average (.322), OBP (.393) and slugging (.538) -- and celebrities photographed with in Cristiano Ronaldo, Russell Westbrook, Samuel L. Jackson and Snoop Dog to name a few. A June call up, Puig has 428 plate appearances, which will fall well below the 502 he'd need to qualify for the batting title race. That could have made him a more viable threat for the ROY award. But this year being the second-best rookie in the NL isn't a bad thing.
He had long been the franchise's top pitching prospect, but the expectation was that Teheran would be a stop-gap as the Braves' fifth starter until Brandon Beachy returned from Tommy John surgery. Teheran struggled early on with a 7.31 ERA in his first three starts, but since then, the 22-year-old posted a 2.68 ERA with a 155-to-38 strikeout-to-walk ratio and went 13-8. The Colombian distanced himself from the rookie class' other pitchers when it came to defense, totaling an MLB-best eight pickoffs and he was fourth in the majors with six runs saved. He'll be a central part of the Braves rotation this postseason, though he's still getting the rookie treatment from his teammates.
It hasn't been a fun day for me!