Rookie of the Year Thoughts

By Editorial Staff
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(Edit: As pointed out, Alexi Ogando does not qualify for the ROY award. The only thing that makes me not do a total facepalm over this mistake is that people far smarter have done it also. The Carsoncalc has re-crunched the numbers.)

Michael Pineda’s name has been mentioned all season by baseball writers as a front runner for the American League Rookie of the Year honors.

I decided to look at Pineda, and the other leading candidates, and use the Carsoncalc to set odds on each player winning. At the bottom, there will be a poll! I love polls!

32% – Michael Pineda – Starting Pitcher – Seattle Mariners

He rocketed onto the radar in 2010 having started in AA before a promotion to AAA after 13 starts. He didn’t have that sparkly ERA in Tacoma, but the peripherals showed he would challenge for a rotation spot the following spring. And that he did. Pineda started the season with some question marks surrounding his ability to get lefties out but he’s held up well while putting up a 2.6 WAR so far.

He only threw 139 innings in 2010. Only nine short of that total during this campaign, the club has already started throttling him down. He was pushed back a few days for his current turn and that stands to continue through the season. This will reduce his counting stats even though voters will have the mirage of him pitching a full season.

He leads all rookie pitchers in strikeouts and starts. He’s 1.1 innings of the pace for most pitched.

30% – Mark Trumbo – First Baseman – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Playing a full season as a position player with big pop will be on Trumbo’s side. Many folks believe that he’s just now starting to get the attention from the media needed to make a pass on the final turn of the season.

Yes, the 22 dingers and 63 RBI are nice, especially on a team with a non-elite offense. Combine that with solid defense and Trumbo will draw some votes. I think voters will look down on his poor average, low on-base skills and high strikeout rate, though. If he starts hitting even more out of his mind down the stretch and the Angels somehow catch the Rangers, things could change. I don’t think either will happen, though.

26% – Josh Reddick – Outfielder – Boston Red Sox

Josh Reddick plays for the Red Sox and has a high batting average. For this, he should be rewarded.

There’s no mystery to what’s going on here. Reddick’s BABIP is a sky-high .385 resulting in a .331/.377/.542 triple slash line. Hey, maybe something clicked. I’m guessing it’s not sustainable. That doesn’t matter much, though, because voters are highly unlikely to consider such things. After all, Josh Reddick plays for the Red Sox and has a high batting average.

12% – Dustin Ackley – Second Baseman – Seattle Mariners

Ackley will draw some consideration because of the way he’s hit the ground running. The Mariners were more interested in saving millions of dollars than playing Ackley while they were in the race, though, so he sat around mashing AAA pitching while we were told his defense needed more work.

Not playing as much of a season as guys like Trumbo and Reddick will hurt, though. He’s started to cool down now, too, so this number could decrease by season’s end. I have a huge man crush, though, so he’s on my list even if that number is 1%.

I think Pineda has an excellent shot at winning this since Ogando does not qualify. However, he only has a few more starts to impress with his workload being cut. So a bad start or two could see Trumbo surpass him. Reddick playing for Boston could make my rating of him look foolish. Dustin Ackley is awesome, and he’s ours.

What do you think?

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