AL Rookie of the Year Outlook

Jose Abreu, the Rookie of the Year in waiting

Jose Abreu, the Rookie of the Year in waiting

It’s that time of the year, as we all look forward to upcoming playoffs. It’s also time to look back and reflect on the great season that was. And with that comes the look to the future of the game and the new guys that jumped off the page. I am of course talking about the Rookie of the Year Award. In the American League a few players come to mind: A big time slugger who put up some of the best offensive numbers in the league, or take your pick of some starting pitchers that have solidified their spot atop their respective rotations.

In no particular order…

Masahiro Tanaka:
Some might find it wrong to give a Japanese import a shot at the ROY, as they have had the experience of pitching at a high and intense level that AAA just cannot match. However, regardless of that notion, the MLB is the MLB and this was Tanaka’s first year playing in it. His accolades cannot be disputed as he has done nothing but live up to the seemingly unrealistic hype laid out for him prior to the season. With a 12-4 record and a 2.51 ERA, Tanaka kept the Yankees in playoff contention prior to a elbow injury in July. Unfortunately for Tanaka the injury limited his starts to just 18 games, potentially bouncing him out of the conversation, but do no be surprised when you see votes come in for the hurler.

Collin McHugh:
It has been a turn around year for the Houston Astros, as they seem to be a team destined for future success. Part of that destiny is thanks to the emergence of the 27-year-old Collin McHugh. After taking the journey through the minors and starting his Major League career 0-9 between 3 different clubs, McHugh was given one final chance with Astros, a chance he took complete advantage of. With a 2.79 ERA, McHugh was able to go 9-and-9 with a club that ranked 27th in terms of plate production. It may be that the voters stay away from McHugh because of his record as a starter, but in either case he has stamped “legit” on his professional pitching resume.

Dellin Betances:
Dellin Batances is the only relief pitcher to make this list. And the only reason he makes the grade is because of his shutdown pitching for the Yanks this season. On a club that was struggling out of the bullpen, Betances was the saving grace. As a reliever he was able to rack up 86.9 innings (4th among all Yankee pitchers) while putting out a 1.35 ERA. Sunday night, he tied Mariano Rivera for the Yankees’ single season record for most strikeouts from a reliever. At 6’8 with an absolute rocket for an arm, we could be looking at the future closer for the Bronx Bombers.

Matt Shoemaker:
At 15-4 with a 3.15 ERA, Matt Shoemaker has been one of the biggest stories to come out of the Angels’ clubhouse this season. Maybe not as dominant as some of the others on this list, Shoemaker has produced in a heated AL West race that has only recently started to slide in the Halo’s favor. The recent run is due in big part to the pitching of Shoemaker, who is 7-1 with a 1.73 ERA since August 1st, when the Angels were 2 games back of the Athletics.

Jose Abreu:
Let us get away from pitching to close out the list. With a possible exception of the pitching of Chris Sale, the biggest story to come out of the Windy City this summer was the bat of Cuban defector, Jose Abreu. On Sunday, Abreu tied the White Sox rookie record for home runs, in a season that has been labeled a significant down year for power. Moreover, Abreu has straight up produced regardless of the home run numbers. With a .322/.384/.604 slashline, Abreu finds himself ranked atop the major hitting categories (MLB: AVG 3rd, OBP 9th, SLG 1st, RBI 5th, HR 4th). Abreu should run away with the vote, however only 1 of the last 10 AL RoY  Awards was given to a player on a losing team.

Comments

  1. Jose Abreu is going to win this easily and the only other person who could have challenged him was Masahiro Tanaka but his injury derailed this race