If the season ended right now, who would you vote for as the 2013 N.L. Rookie of the Year? There are four rookies who deserve the award in my book as they have arguably compiled some of the best numbers among first year players in the league this season. Though not all play in competitive teams, when they are in big spots, they come through for their club. What's so special about Evan Gattis, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Jose Fernandez and Yasiel Puig?
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He was the front runner at the beginning of the season. After just two months playing big league baseball, Gattis had a .281 batting average with 12 home runs and 32 RBI, accompanied by a .333 on-base and .619 slugging percentage. However, he strained his oblique two weeks later and was sidelined for over a month. Since then, he hasn't been the same and El Oso Blanco's bid for ROY has taken a dip.
In spite of his struggles, Gattis still leads all MLB rookies with 15 home runs and 47 RBI.
Gattis' first year was the talk of town, until Puig entered the picture and stole the spotlight from the Atlanta Braves' slugger. Gattis' story is special, but Puig has truly been incredible. Gattis homered while his father was being interviewed in his first game in the majors. Puig went 2-4 and gunned down a runner at first for the game-ending double play. He then went on to hit two home runs in his second game and the Puig highlights have not stopped coming all season long. The Dodgers are in first place and you have to thank the youngster's efforts as L.A. was dead last in the N.L. West on the day Puig emerged from the minors.
Puig isn't the only Dodger stealing headlines. With a 12-4 record backed by a 2.95 ERA in his first 24 major league starts, Ryu has proven that the Dodgers made the right move after bidding for the left-handed South Korean. Before his loss on Monday night, Ryu had won five consecutive decisions. With Clayton Kershaw dominating once again and Zack Greinke back on track, the Dodger possess a very dangerous 1,2,3 punch.
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Consider him an ace. He would have a better record than Max Scherzer if he played for a winning team. That's right! Jose Fernandez should have a perfect record in 2013 and it's just the 21-year-old's first season in the majors. Okay, it's a it of an exaggeration, but he's only allowed four or more earned runs in three of his 24 starts this season. Talk about giving your team a chance! He is 9-5 with a 2.41 ERA. Fernandez has pitched 145.2 innings, recording 157 strikeouts in the process for a 9.7 K/9 Ratio and he has a 1.02 WHIP, meaning guys are barely on base when he's on the mound. What more do you want from him?
The argument would be that Fernandez doesn't play for a winning team. However, I counter that argument. This young man pitches for one of the worst teams in baseball, but still has the guts to come out every game and pitch his heart out. It's easy to want to get on the field when your team is winning and on a roll, but Fernandez should be given credit because the Marlins were never expected to be good in 2013.