Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rookie of the Year Predictions

This season we saw a handful of stand-out candidates for the annual Rookie of the Year award, but more importantly for MLB teams there were a lot of young guys that emerged as role players. Only one or two true stars debut each season, but many more make their first of many appearances as starters or bench players. The award by no means guarantees a bright career (just ask Chris Coghlan, Geovany Soto, or Bobby Crosby) nor does losing out erase your chances at stardom (the above-mentioned players beat out Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto, and Zack Greinke, respectively). Let's take a look at the field for the awards this season.

American League

American League Hitters
Name Team G PA H HR R RBI SB AVG OPS wOBA WAR
Mike Trout Angels 139 639 182 30 129 83 49 0.326 0.963 0.409 10
Yoenis Cespedes Athletics 129 540 142 23 70 82 16 0.292 0.861 0.368 3.1













American League Pitchers
Name Team W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP WAR
Yu Darvish Rangers 16 9 0 29 29 191.1 10.4 4.19 3.9 3.29 5.1
Jarrod Parker Athletics 13 8 0 29 29 181.1 6.95 3.13 3.47 3.43 3.7
Tommy Milone Athletics 13 10 0 31 31 190 6.49 1.71 3.74 3.93 2.7
Ryan Cook Athletics 6 2 14 71 0 73.1 9.82 3.31 2.09 2.89 1.6
Tom Wilhelmsen Mariners 4 3 29 73 0 79.1 9.87 3.29 2.5 2.89 1.5

 The American League side of the ballot isn't really up for discussion. Mike Trout's rookie campaign was historic. In terms of Wins Above Replacement, it is the greatest rookie season since Joe Jackson's first full season in 1911. Trout was called up twenty games into the season and led a star-studded Angels team to an 89-73 record, greatly outplaying teammates who made far more money than he did. The Angels had a .583 winning percentage with Mike Trout in the game and a .348 winning percentage without. If Mike Trout had been on the opening day lineup and not missed the first twenty games, the Angels would have potentially won 94 games and made the playoffs.

Prediction: Mike Trout

National League
 
National League Hitters
Name Team G PA H HR R RBI SB AVG OPS wOBA WAR
Bryce Harper Nationals 139 597 144 22 98 59 18 0.270 0.817 0.352 4.9
Norichika Aoki Brewers 151 588 150 10 81 50 30 0.288 0.788 0.344 2.9
Todd Frazier Reds 128 465 115 19 55 67 3 0.273 0.829 0.354 2.8
Zack Cozart Reds 138 600 138 15 72 35 4 0.246 0.687 0.298 2.7
Yonder Alonso Padres 155 619 150 9 47 62 3 0.273 0.741 0.323 2
Anthony Rizzo Cubs 87 368 96 15 44 48 3 0.285 0.805 0.349 1.8
Wilin Rosario Rockies 117 426 107 28 67 71 4 0.270 0.842 0.356 1.8













National League Pitchers
Name Team W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP WAR
Wade Miley Diamondbacks 16 11 0 32 29 194.2 6.66 1.71 3.33 3.15 4.8
Mike Fiers Brewers 9 10 0 23 22 127.2 9.52 2.54 3.74 3.09 3
Lance Lynn Cardinals 18 7 0 35 29 176 9.2 3.27 3.78 3.49 2.9

 The National League is a little bit trickier as there isn't a slam dunk pick like Trout. The easy pick is breakout star Bryce Harper, but looking at his stats next to Wilin Rosario's really paints a picture. The two players peripheral stats are just about even, with Rosario actually leading the way in OPS and wOBA. The difference in counting stats is worth looking at, though, as Rosario's stats are equal or greater than Harper's despite having 171 less plate appearances. Without Harper's defensive abilities in center field, nothing distinguishes the two. This isn't an argument for Wilin Rosario as the winner, but it takes a bit of the shine off of Harper.

My choice for the award would be Diamondbacks hurler Wade Miley. He had a great season starting for the Snakes thanks to his control and ground ball pitching. Pitchers of his repertoire are hard to project over a career, so I can't say with certainty whether he will go on to have a stellar resume or if he will be the next Jason Jennings, but in 2012 he was the best.

Prediction: Wade Miley
 

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