Jeff Fletcher | September 26, 2011
I don’t think enough publicity has gone to the AL Rookie of the Year race, which is a real barn burner. I’ve got that vote this year, and I can honestly see a case for four guys … and there are only three spots on the ballot.
Jeremy Hellickson has the best ERA among starting pitchers (2.90) and he’s pitched in the tough AL East, doing well against the Red Sox and Yankees, and he’s gotten better as the year has gone on, in a pennant race.
Ivan Nova is 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA for a division champ, and there’s been a fair amount of pressure on him with the issues to the rest of the Yankees rotation. He also pitches in a tough ballpark.
Mark Trumbo has huge counting stats (29 homers and 87 RBIs) and his OPS is .768, which is not bad. He’s been a key offensive contributor on a contender.
Eric Hosmer has the best rate stats (.814 OPS), and his counting stats (19 HRs, 77 RBIs) are pretty good, too. He’s also got an .872 OPS in the second half. He’s certainly got a higher ceiling, prospect-wise, than Trubmo, but that’s not necessarily a part of this award. The only thing that counts against him, albeit not that much, is that his team stinks so he theoretically hasn’t faced the pressure of the other three guys.
Honestly, of all four of these guys, the only thing I feel certain of is that I’d rank Hellickson ahead of Nova. However, I could put the two position players in any order, and I could put the pitchers and position players in any order relative to each other, because it’s sort of apples and oranges when trying to compare them, which is one of the reasons ROY is always a tough vote.
If I wanted to throw Jordan Walden, a closer, in there, then it’s apples, oranges and bananas.
And I haven’t even mentioned Jemile Weeks, Guillermo Moscoso, Michael Pineda or Dustin Ackley, who are all having very good rookie seasons. (Just noticed, nice year for rookies in the AL West.) So has Desmond Jennings, in half a season.
Three more days to think about it.