There has been an abundance of quality rookies hitting the majors in 2010... except most of them are in the National League.
In the American League, it's a decidedly different story. Oh sure, there's plenty of talent here -- of the names below, plenty of All-Star Game appearances will be racked up.
LF/RF Brennan Boesch
.269/.329/.452, 432 PA, 41 R, 21 2B, 14 HR, 61 RBI, -1.7 UZR/150, 0 DRS, 1.4 WAR
Brennan Boesch's second half of the season has been the complete opposite of the first half, when Boesch burst on the scene with an exclamation mark. Still, his first half was so strong, he deserves real consideration for the award -- and if he can pull off a hot September, could actually make a run for it. His .342/.397/.593 OPS in 267 first-half plate appearances is nothing short of incredible, especially given Boesch was an unheralded prospect. In the second half, he has a paltry .152./218/.225, unsurprising given regression to the mean and his lacking peripherals. Still, his overall line remains strong enough to contend in a diluted pool of candidates.
SP Wade Davis
Tampa Bay Rays
11-9, 134 1/3 IP, 4.29 ERA, 51 BB, 85 K, 4.96 xFIP, 0.3 WAR
Davis hasn't had his season go entirely to plan, but is the only starting pitcher worthy of consideration with 11 wins and an ERA approximating a solid starter even if his xFIP points out that he's in actuality, a back-of-the-rotation starter. He'll likely top 100 strikeouts and will have his case bolstered by being a year-long member of a rotation that made the postseason. Davis skidded in June with a 6.00 ERA, but has turned his season back around and so far in August, is having his best month in peripherals.
CL Neftali Feliz
33 SV, 57 IP, 3.32 ERA, 16 BB, 59 K, 3.77 xFIP, 1.2 WAR
The prohibitive favorite, Feliz has notched 33 saves for the AL West-leading Rangers and done so in spectacular fashion, blowing away hitters left and right when he trots in from the dugout. Even though Texas should try to slot him in the rotation long-term, for now, he's been everything the Rangers needed at the end of a ballgame. If he can get to 40 saves in September, he should have the award all but locked up. Austin Jackson is Feliz's biggest competition for an award, and how both players produce in September will dictate the outcome.
CF Austin Jackson
.304/.357/.406, 542 PA, 83 R, 29 2B, 8 3B, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 3.4 UZR/150, 19 DRS, 3.1 WAR
Jackson has been quite lucky this season -- there's no denying that. However, there's also no denying that he can hit for contact despite a lack of walks and a propensity of strikeouts. He's also one of the best fielders in the game, which goes a long way towards giving him the best WAR ahead of anyone else on the list. Simply put -- he's contributed the most wins to a team of any rookie in the league. It's possible Jackson could lose some votes to teammate Boesch.
RP Sergio Santos
Chicago White Sox
42 IP, 2.36 ERA, 22 BB, 43 K, 4.18 xFIP, 0.6 WAR
Why Santos on this list? Because unlike the rest of the rookie candidates, he's the last remaining who has made a tangible impact on his team's season. Santos has quickly morphed from a light-hitting infielder to one of the best relievers in the game, and closing may be in his future. Until then, he still has much to learn about pitching -- but not much to learn about how to throw a fastball. A big reason the White Sox are in contention is due to Santos, J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton all but putting the seventh and eighth innings out of reach.
Apologies to: Brian Matusz, Mitch Talbot
-- Evan Brunell