Last year the NL Rookie of the Year race could have swung to a rather large group of players. Though some of us in the blogging world had our votes for players from Wade Miley to Wilin Rosario, the hype and age of Bryce Harper made it a pretty easy pick to be made. In history we have seen hundreds of players who jump into majors and make a huge splash but just to come into their sophomore year fizzling out and in some cases like Kevin Maas in the 90s would be out of baseball by age 30.
2012 NL TOP ROOKIE OF THE YEAR VOTES (current stats as of 9/14/13)
1. Bryce Harper 2012 STATS Avg .270 HR 22 59 RBI
2013 STATS Avg .273 HR 19 49 RBI
JAC'S EST 2014 STATS Avg .280 HR 25 75 RBI
I was one of the many who didn't think that Harper was as great as people stated. I read all about how awesome his WAR stats are, but in reality the hype hasn't equaled the career .270 average in his near first two seasons. That doesn't mean that Harper can not be a top tier player, he is still just 20 years old, he has plenty of career left to get his average up to .300. On the bright side, compared to his rookie year there isn't a sophomore slump because he is pretty much right on track as he was last year.
2. Wade Miley 2012 STATS Wins 16 Loses 11 ERA 3.33 IP 195 SO 144
2013 STATS Wins 9 Loses 10 ERA 3.73 IP 178 SO 130
JAC'S EST 2014 STATS Wins 10 Loses 8 ERA 4.00 IP 175 SO 125
Wade Miley is another who has had a good follow up campaign, other than his wins/loss splits all his other stats are very similar to 2012. Miley suffers this year being on a team in the bottom of the NL West, but he has been durable and consistent to the very least.
3. Todd Frazier 2012 STATS Avg .273 HR 19 RBI 67
2013 STATS Avg .234 HR 15 RBI 65
JAC'S EST 2014 STATS Avg .250 HR 12 RBI 50
Here is a player that didn't start playing in the bigs till he was 25. Frazier didn't have the Harper hype but he played consistent. His 2012 stats are almost just as good as Harper, but he played quietly for the year under the radar. His power and production numbers are there this year but his average is nearly 40 points lower. He should continue to be a good every day player and down the road, but if his average suffers much more you may see him playing more as a bench power type hitter.
4. Wilin Rosario 2012 STATS Avg .270 HR 28 RBI 71
2013 STATS Avg .290 HR 21 RBI 78
JAC'S EST 2014 STATS Avg .285 HR 25 RBI 90
Rosario suffered from the problem of playing at Coors Field when many considered him for rookie of the year voting. Though his career stat splits are .284 at Coors and .285 on the road. One thing that many took in consideration was how he played behind the plate, he had a total of 13 errors in 2012. In 2013 he has caught more and just had 9 errors and has a career throw out percent of 31%. Last years pitching staff for Colorado was one of the worst in MLB history, and has helped turn it around to a more respectable ERA this year.
5. Norichika Aoki 2012 STATS Avg .288 HR 10 RBI 50
2013 STATS Avg .280 HR 7 RBI 33
JAC'S EST 2014 STATS Avg .275 HR 6 RBI 40
Aoki was a player who came out of nowhere on a team that had recently not had much to cheer about (other than Segura). Aoki has been solid in the outfield and has been a base stealing threat on the base paths. He suffers of being on a team that has been missing Ryan Braun, and the exit of Prince Fielder a few years back. Looking at the Brewers farm system, Aoki should be a starter for years to come. Aoki should have a better 2014 if Braun comes back healthy.
6t. Yonder Alonso 2012 STATS Avg .273 HR 9 RBI 62
2013 STATS Avg .281 HR 6 RBI 45
JAC'S EST 2014 STATS Avg. 270 HR 6 RBI 40
Alonso unfortunately plays at a very pitching friendly park but still has put up decent numbers even though at times being a platoon player. He hasn't shown he can put up big numbers but could be a decent every day or platoon player in his career.
6t. Matt Carpenter 2012 STATS Avg .294 HR 6 RBI 46
2013 STATS Avg .317 HR 10 RBI 70 * Leads NL in R/H/2B
JAC'S EST 2014 STATS Avg .312 HR 15 RBI 85
Carpenter was maybe the best pick of the NL Rookie of the Year, only if he had some more at bats. Carpenter and Rosario are the two players who have excelled over their rookie season. Carpenter not only exceeded his rookie year stats, but he has turned into one of the best in the game in 2013.
6t. Jordan Pacheco 2012 STATS Avg .309 HR 5 RBI 50
2013 STATS Avg .243 HR 1 RBI 20
JAC'S EST 2014 STATS Avg .265 HR 2 RBI 25
Pacheco came out of nowhere, he wasn't expected to play as much as he did in 2012 but after injuries to Helton at first base and other injuries for the Rockies, Jordan ended up becoming an everyday player. He excelled at that role by having the third best average in the NL at .309. In 2013 Pacheco found himself without a position, Nolan Arenado being the new everyday third basemen and Helton being healthy most of the year. Pacheco now found himself playing once a week or coming off the bench. Pacheco is not a power hitter playing in a power hitter park. His career may take off in a role where they need a position player to hit for average and not power. Jordan can play several positions, 1B, 3B, OF, and even Catcher! What team wouldn't love to have an all a round player such as this? If Helton retires, does Pacheco get the first base nod, or does he become the backup catcher? We will see next year. I am thinking a backup catcher.
2013 JOE AVERAGE COLLECTOR 2013 NL SOPHOMORE AWARD:
1. Matt Carpenter (St. Louis Cardinals)
2. Wilin Rosario (Colorado Rockies)
3. Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)
4. Wade Miley (Arizona D-Backs)
5. Norichika Aoki (Milwaukee Brewers)
6. Todd Frazier (Cincinnati Reds)
7. Yonder Alonso (San Diego Padres)
8. Jordan Pacheco (Colorado Rockies)
What do you all think about this years NL Sophomores? What do you think about their 3rd full year in the league? (*I know this is some players 3rd year, but most played after the expanded rosters in 2011)