Sunday, November 10, 2013
Top stats to know: Rookie awards preview
By ESPN Stats & Information
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesAwards season begins Monday with the announcement of the National League and American League Rookie of the Year winners.
Yasiel Puig provided the offensive spark the Dodgers needed at the time of his recall.
Though there weren’t any rookies who performed at the level that Mike Trout did a year ago, there were still a number of notable performances.
Fernandez, Puig top this rookie class
Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig are the three finalists for NL Rookie of the Year. The award should come down to Fernandez versus Puig.
Fernandez had one of the best seasons by a rookie starter in a long time, going 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA. He led the league in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (5.8).
Fernandez’s 2.19 ERA was the best by a rookie who qualified for the ERA title in a non-strike season since Stan Bahnsen had a 2.05 ERA for the New York Yankees and Jerry Koosman had a 2.08 ERA for the New York Mets in 1968 (which was known as The Year of the Pitcher).
Fernandez got his ERA down that low via a strong finish. He had an NL-best 1.50 ERA from June 1 through the end of the season.
His season was slightly better than that of Miller, who had 15 wins and a 3.06 ERA in 31 starts with the Cardinals. Miller’s 15 wins were the most by a rookie pitcher in 2013, one more than Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Teheran.
Puig made his debut on June 3 and made a huge impact on the Dodgers' lineup. The Dodgers, after a 23-32 start, were 69-38 from that day forward.
Puig led rookie position players with a .319 batting average, .925 OPS and 5.0 WAR (wins above replacement). He didn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, but if you lower the minimum to 400 plate appearances, he ranked 10th among all players in the majors with a .925 OPS.
Puig is trying to become the Dodgers' first Rookie of the Year winner since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996. Hollandsworth’s win capped five straight Rookie of the Year selections for the Dodgers.
Myers, Archer going head-to-head
Rays outfielder Wil Myers and starting pitcher Chris Archer are two of the three AL finalists.
Each is trying to become the third Rays player to win the award, joining Evan Longoria in 2008 and Jeremy Hellickson in 2011.
Myers had the highest OPS (.831) by a wide margin among the 13 AL rookies with at least 250 plate appearances. The next highest was Brad Miller of the Seattle Mariners (.737).
Myers closed the season strong, hitting .323 with four home runs, 12 doubles, 14 RBIs and 19 runs scored in his last 26 games in helping the Rays make their playoff push.
The Rays went 14-9 in Archer’s 23 starts, in which he was 9-7 with a 3.22 ERA. He was at his best in three starts against one of the Rays' division rivals, the Yankees, going 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings against them. He was the first rookie to beat the Yankees three times in a season since Kevin Brown did so for the Texas Rangers in 1989.
Archer would be the fourth rookie pitcher to win the AL award in the past five seasons, joining Andrew Bailey (2009 Athletics), Neftali Feliz (2010 Rangers) and Hellickson.
Iglesias steady at shortstop
Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias provided flash with his defense (winning the "Baseball Tonight" Web Gem of the Year award) and performed respectably on offense, hitting .303. He was one of only two rookies with at least 250 plate appearances to hit .300 this season, along with Puig.
If Iglesias won, he would be the first Rookie of the Year winner to play for two teams in the same season.
Did you know?
If either Archer or Myers wins the AL award and Fernandez wins the NL award, it would be the first time that two teams from the same state produced Rookie of the Year winners since 1993, when the winners were Mike Piazza of the Dodgers and Tim Salmon of the Angels.