AL Rookie of the Year Watch: Mike Trout
It remains a one-man race for AL RoY honors. But what about the rest of the field?
|Your AL Rookie of the Year, served three ways. (Getty Images)|
Our rundown of where the major individual awards stand at this moment in time continues with the race for AL Rookie of the Year. You probably can guess the blindingly obvious frontrunner.
A reminder: These are not necessarily my picks (although Mr. Trout is of course my pick). This list is an educated guess based upon historical voting standards. We can't do more than speculate because voters aren't allowed to discuss their votes until the awards are handed out in November.
Mike Trout, Angels: Trout remains the unchallenged frontrunner. It's not that everyone else is unworthy; rather, it's that Trout's 2012 bestowals are so historically rare that no one else is in the discussion. In addition to providing Gold Glove-caliber fielding at an up-the-middle position, Trout is batting .332/.397/.571 with 27 homers 45 steals in 49 attempts. Is Trout having the greatest rookie season ever? That's a better question than "is Trout the AL Rookie of the Year"? He'll be a unanimous winner.
Jarrod Parker, A's: The sample size is small, of course, but Parker has been outstanding in September. If he keeps it up, then he'll get bonus points for helping to buoy the Oakland rotation with the absence of Brandon McCarthy and Bartolo Colon. One of four rookies presently in that Oakland rotation, Parker boasts a 3.56 ERA in 154 1/3 innings. He's given up just two homers to right-handed batters all season.
Yu Darvish, Rangers: Darvish has been whittling down his ERA of late, and there's a chance he'll get it below 4.00 before season's end. He's doing that despite having pitched 79.0 of his 169 2/3 innings in hitter-friendly Arlington. Best of all, he's whiffed 26.7% of opposing hitters, which leads the AL. He's not yet an ace and his control needs work, but it's been a solid rookie campaign for Darvish.
Matt Moore, Rays: He's striking out more than a batter per frame, and his ERA is a solid 3.68. Control and consistency remain concerns, however. Moore was enjoying a strong second half until his two most recent starts. There's no doubting his ceiling moving forward, but Moore's rookie campaign has not been without some fits and starts.
Yoenis Cespedes, A's: In other, Trout-less seasons, Cespedes would be a perfectly appropriate RoY winner, but not this year. Cespedes is still having a fine season (125 OPS+), but his recent power outage (just three homers since Aug. 1) has dropped his stock.
Jose Quintana, White Sox: His recent gem against the Tigers notwithstanding, Quintana has struggled since the break (4.82 ERA in the second half). Still, the overall numbers remain strong enough to earn him some down-ballot support.
Scott Diamond, Twins: Diamond continues to get by despite a basement-level K rate. Some of the shine has come off his numbers in the second half, but overall his 2012 remains solid.
Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox: Middlebrooks hasn't played since Aug. 10 and is out for the remainder of the season with a wrist injury. So his stock drops solely by virtue of his not playing. Among rooks, though, only Trout has a higher OPS than Middlebrooks's .835.
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