Okay, so writing this post is really more of a formality. I don’t think there’s any doubt who this year’s ROY in the NL is. However, I would like to make sure we don’t overlook the guys that also had great years. Because, unlike the AL, the NL is littered with guys who had tremendous first years at the big-league level. In fact, it was very difficult for me to narrow it down to the top 5. I even considered a top-10, just to demonstrate how many guys had good first years, but decided against it. If you want an idea of how tough this decision was, go look at the stats of guys like Trevor Rosenthal, Evan Gattis, Darin Ruf, Luis Avilan, and Justin Wilson. So, let’s take a look at who did make the cut.
#5 – Hyun-jin Ryu/Shelby Miller (LAD/STL). Okay, so I added one more guy to this list, because it was absolutely impossible for me to choose between the two. Their stats are incredibly similar. Ryu: 14-8, 3.00 ERA, 154 K’s, 1.20 WHIP, 3.14 K/BB. Miller: 15-9, 3.06 ERA, 169 K’s, 1.21 WHIP, 2.96 K/BB. Both of these guys have the potential to be top-of-the-rotation guys in the near future.
#4 – Jedd Gyorko (SDP). So, the guy who finishes 4th on my NL rookie list might could have won the award in the AL. Gyorko had a great year, in spite of having to play half of his 125 games at cavernous Petco Park: .745 OPS, 23 HR, 63 RBI, and a 110 wRC+. He also played a solid 2B.
#3 – Matt Adams (STL). Adams wasn’t a regular starter until July. And, even after that he was often used in a platoon role with Allen Craig. But, Adams definitely made the best use of his opportunities. In 319 plate appearances in 108 games, he finished with a .284 avg., 17 HR, 51 RBI, an .838 OPS, and 136 wRC+. His defense may have been a little below average, but I expect the Cardinals will be looking for ways to get him more AB’s in 2014.
#2 – Jose Fernandez (MIA). The lone Marlins All-Star, he was pretty much the only bright spot in a dismal season in Miami. In his first big-league season, he has already established himself as the ace of an albeit depleted pitching staff. His numbers are quite impressive, especially considering he was pitching for a team that was averaging barely more than 3 runs per game. In 28 starts, he amassed a 12-6 record, 2.19 ERA, 187 K’s, 0.98 WHIP, and the league batted a paltry .180 against him. If it wasn’t for Puig, everyone would be talking about this guy.
#1 – Yasiel Puig (LAD). I know I’ve said it before, but all you really have to know about Puig is that before he arrived in LA, the Dodgers were in last place. After he arrived, they played consistently stellar baseball, and made it to the NLCS (and maybe further – we’ll see). But, for the sake of argument, here are Puig’s astounding numbers: 104 games, .319 avg., 19 HR, 42 RBI, 11 SB, .925 OPS, 160 wRC+.