While the American League Rookie of the Year award is easily decided the race for the top first-year player in the National League is going to come down to a photo finish between three worthy candidates. Those three tremendous rookies are the Washington Nationals teenage sensation Bryce Harper, the Colorado Rockies terrific catcher Wilin Rosario and Arizona Diamondbacks first-year hurler Wade Miley.
Bryce Harper has had hype and publicity surrounding his name since he first step into the national spotlight as a high schooler hitting 500-foot homeruns and being called the Natural. Since then he breezed through the Nationals minor league system and has made his emergence into the MLB and played exceptionally well. This season in 136 games played as a big leaguer Harper has hit .269 with 22 homeruns and 59 runs batted-in. Harper has recorded 142 hits, 97 runs scored, 25 doubles, nine triples, 55 base on-balls and an OPS of .815 in 527 at-bats as a 19-yard old.
Wilin Rosario has also put together an unbelievable rookie season batting .274 with 27 homeruns and 70 runs batted-in in just 114 games. Rosario has also racked up 105 hits, 66 runs scored, 19 doubles and an .851 OPS in just 383 at-bats. The most impressive thing about Rosario is that he has produced these extraordinary numbers all while handling a pitching staff as a rookie catcher. If he can continue with this he will be giving Buster Posey and Yadier Molina a run for their money as the top catcher in the National League.
Wade Miley has had a very impressive first-season for the D’Backs posting a record of 16-11 with a 3.37 ERA and 134 strikeouts. Miley has allowed just 69 earned runs and 37 bases on-balls in his 187 innings of work along with posting a 1.20 WHIP and a .257 batting average against. Miley is Arizona’s team leader in wins, ERA and WHIP which strengthens his run at the NL rookie of the Year Award.
This race is going to come down to the final day because all three guys in any season could win this award but if I had a vote I would have to take Harper. He is the youngest, had the loftiest expectations, is playing on the NL’s top team and has produced at a high level. Rookie of the Year honors should just be the first of many awards in what should be an amazing career for Harper.