The American League saw several teams call up guys from their minor league systems well after the season had begun. In fact, no rookie in the AL played in even 140 games this season, and only 5 played in as many as 100 games. So, overall in the AL, the stats for this year’s ROY candidates aren’t overwhelming. But, I do believe there’s a clear choice. For this, and all future awards, I’m going to list the top 5 candidates in ascending order, leading up to my winner. So, here goes:
#5 – Oswaldo Arcia (MIN). His .251 batting average isn’t very exciting, and his defense in the outfield wasn’t stellar. But, he’s just 22, and he had pretty nice numbers otherwise in the 97 games he played: 14 HR, 43 RBI, .734 OPS, 103 wRC+
#4 – Dan Straily (OAK). Dan started 27 games for the A’s – more than any AL rookie pitcher. He also led all AL rookies with 124 K’s, to go along with his 3.96 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. The league only bat .229 against him, and yet his record was just 10-8. But, all in all, he had a very good year.
#3 – Tanner Scheppers (TEX). This guy was relied on time after time after time in late innings by the Rangers. He pitched in 76 games, and accumulated just a 1.88 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. He had 27 holds – the most of any AL rookie – and just one blown save. While his stats might not wow you, just wait and see if this guy isn’t a premier closer in a couple years.
#2 – Jose Iglesias (DET). Boston must have a lot of confidence in Bogaerts for them to trade away a guy with as much talent as Iglesias just 60+ games into his career. Iglesias played an excellent SS, while batting .303 in 109 games with a .735 OPS and a 102 wRC+. If he could improve his baserunning skills a little, he could become a premier leadoff hitter.
#1 – Wil Myers (TB). There’s really no debate here. Even though Myers only played in 88 games, it’s clear who this year’s best AL rookie was. In spite of the fact that he barely played more than half a season, he still led all AL rookies in RBI (53), OPS (.832), and wRC+ (131). He also ranked 2nd in the league in HR (13), and bat .293 in 373 plate appearances. A full season with Myers in the lineup in 2014 is likely going to help that TB offense be much more consistent.