MLB 2013: Each Team’s Best Rookie of the Year Candidate
MLB 2013: Each Team’s Best Rookie of the Year Candidate
The new MLB season is just days away and every team in the league is looking forward to what the new year might bring. After an excitement packed season in 2012, teams are looking ahead at the coming months and wondering what might be ahead. Will another player achieve the Triple Crown? Will another rookie play his way into a controversy when he gets passed over for MVP honors, even though it was in favor of the Triple Crown winner?
While neither scenario is likely to be repeated in 2013, there is no telling what could happen. Any number of records or achievements could be surpassed this season, and there will certainly be a few prospects trying to mirror Mike Trout’s historic season. There will be guys looking to make an impact that rivals Bryce Harper’s last year. Each team has at least one player intending to win Rookie of the Year (ROY) honors, and for the new batch of major league rookies, the bar has been set extremely high.
The following is a prediction of each MLB team’s top ROY candidates. Some are no-brainer selections, while a few others may catch you by surprise. Either way, the predictions are far from a sure thing, which is part of the fun. Until the season begins, the best we can give is a bit of educated speculation.
As is always the case, if there is a player you don’t agree with, or if you think the order is out of whack, please feel free to leave a comment in the section below. You can also reach out to us using the hashtag #RML, for Rant My Life.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Adam Eaton CF
The problem for Adam Eaton is the amount of outfielders the Arizona Diamondbacks have in place. This will limit his ability to get on the field, but if he makes the most of his opportunities, Eaton could be a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Atlanta Braves: Julio Teheran RHP
The Atlanta Braves will trot out their best prospect in the right hander Julio Teheran this season. Don’t be fooled by the way Teheran struggled when he was brought up last season, the youngster (22) has plenty of arm and it has shown this spring.
Chicago Cubs: Javier Baez SS
Chances are slim that the Chicago Cubs will produce a Rookie Of The Year candidate this season. Depending on how quickly he develops, Javier Baez may be the closest thing they have.
Cincinnati Reds: Tony Cingrani LHP
The Cincinnati Reds candidate has fantastic upside and could easily become a a part of the rotation, but Tony Cingrani will have to benefit from someone else’s misfortune seeing as he probably won’t get his chance unless someone goes out with an injury.
Colorado Rockies: David Dahl OF
David Dahl is well on his way to becoming a special player for the Colorado Rockies. He was named the MVP of the Pioneer League last season after topping several offensive categories. He may have trouble getting into the lineup, but if he does, Dahl could easily put up numbers to command the attention necessary to earn the ROTY award
Los Angeles Dodgers: Zach Lee RHP
Anyone paying any attention at all knows that if given the chance, Yasiel Puig would have the inside tack on being named ROTY for 2013. Unfortunately for Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers already have their out field locked and loaded. Since he will struggle to get on the field this year, Puig will need to step aside and let Zach Lee throw his way into the discussion. At 6-4 190, Lee has the big frame you want and he has control of at least four pitches, making him one of the toughest prospect to make contact with.
Miami Marlins: Rob Brantly C
Catcher Rob Brantley
Milwaukee Brewers: Wily Peralta RHP
There is no doubt, nor debate, when it comes to the Milwaukee Brewers top prospect. Widely considered to have what it takes to be a strong number two pitcher, Wily Peralta brings a bit of experience from the six games he was in last season. Peralta recorded two wins with just one loss with an ERA of 2.48. He also had 23 strikes and did not allow a single home run. The 11 walks he allowed point to an issue with location, but it has been an area the 23-year-old righty has been working on.
New York Mets: Zack Wheeler RHP
This is a bit of a cheap pick since Zach Wheeler is starting the season playing Triple-A ball, but Wheeler is the New York Mets best bet for Rookie of the Year. If he makes his way up to the Majors quickly enough, then there could be an outside chance he could be considered, but the reality is, the Mets have practically no chance at ROTY.
Philadelphia Phillies: Adam Morgan LHP
Adam Morgan receives the nod for the Philadelphia Phillies by default. He has been working his way up through the system and it looks like he is primed to have a big year in 2013. He has an assortment of pitches at his disposal and he has good control over them all. He should do well for Phillies, but probably not ROTY good.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Kyle McPherson RHP
The biggest strength of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Kyle McPherson is not his sinking changeup, or the command he has of his fastball. No, McPherson’s biggest strength is his absolute fearlessness, and his willingness to place a pitch wherever he feels necessary.
St Louis Cardinals- Shelby Miller RHP
Here is another case where the Rookie of the Year candidate sticks out like a sore thumb, in this instance outfielder Oscar Taveras, but getting him on the field is a problem. The St. Louis Cardinals are paying good money for the guys already gracing their grass, and so Taveres will have to wait. In his place though, stands another right handed pitcher, Shelby Miller. At 22 years of age, Miller has quickly gotten himself in position to be an efficient starter in the league. In six appearances on a major league mound, Miller averaged a slight 1,32 ERA and a 0.95 Whip. If this is any indication of what he will have to offer, Miller could be a very strong competitor for the National League’s ROTY award.
San Diego Padres- Jedd Gyorko 2B/3B
During his time in the minors, Jed Gyorko put up 30 home runs and 100 RBI. He can play either side of the infield, and while he has been primarily used at third, he is has entered Spring Training challenging for second base. Gyorko will put up solid numbers, both with his bat and with his glove.
San Francisco Giants- Kyle Crick RHP
The San Francisco Giants are the reigning World Champs, but there is not one single player that stands out. The closest candidate to a Rookie of the Year-type player would be Kyle Crick. Crick has several balls he can use, but only his fastball is fully developed. He still needs time to grow into the player he can be, and the ROTY is not likely to come from the Giants roster.
Washington Nationals- Anthony Rendon 3B
Baltimore Orioles- L.J. Hoes OF
L.J. Hoes has been bounced around the field for the Baltimore Orioles, and now benefits from all of his experience. Hoes started out as a second baseman but now finds himself in the outfield, capable of playing every position. He is a stolen base threat and has the ability at the plate to consistently get the ball into play. If he is brought to full-time early on, Hoes will have a good shot at winning the American League ROTY award.
Boston Red Sox- Jackie Bradley CF
Jackie Bradley will be a great representative of the Boston Red Sox this season. After all of the issues of the past few years, he will be a breath of fresh air. It is very easy to see Bradley in the running when the season winds down.
Chicago White Sox: Carlos Sanchez SS/SB
In all reality, the Chicago White Sox will be hard pressed to put a ROTY candidate on the field. Courtney Hawkins is a tempting pick with his slugging potential, but if anyone were to give enough to get a look, it would have to be Carlos Sanchez. A reliable base hitter, it is his ability to play any position in the infield that gives him the greatest opportunity to be a regular in the lineup.
Cleveland Indians- Trevor Bauer RHP
A new face among the Cleveland Indians pitching staff, Trevor Bauer is ready to take advantage of his new surroundings. Coming to Cleveland as a part of a three team trade, Bauer leaves behind a rough start for the Arizona Diamondbacks and is in prime position to remind people what they saw in him in the first place.
Detroit Tigers- Avisail Garcia- OF
When you watch Garcia take the plate, it is hard to not compare him to his teammate and Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera. Garcia is just as aggressive at the plate and while not as polished or as talented, he has a bright future ahead of him. His biggest problem this year is that the Detroit Tigers signed Tori Hunter who will play in right field and take time away from the young slugger. If the Tigers had decided to keep Bruce Rondon on as their closer there would be no doubt who would be in line for the AL Rookie of the Year.
Houston Astros- Brad Peacock RHP
The Houston Astros pose another situation where if it were a year later the ROY would be easy to point out, but since it is not 2014 yet, Brad Peacock gets the nod. He has a fastball that tops out in the upper 90s and he has a couple of other pitches that could make him something special. If he has gotten himself back on form with what he displayed in 201, ROY could be a possibility.
Kansas City Royals- Kyle Zimmer RHP
Due to the lack of anyone better, the Kansas City Royals best offering may be Kyle Zimmer, a quickly developing righty that has an extremely high ceiling. He has moved quickly through the Royals system and has not exceeded a 2.43 ERA or a 1.42 WHIP.
Los Angeles Angels- Kaleb Cowart 3B
The Los Angeles Angels may not be ready to call third baseman Kaleb Cowart up to the big leagues, but after the success they had with Mike Trout last season, they may want to see if they can get lightning to strike in the same place twice. Cowart has incredible control of the bat with the speed to match. He continues to improve seemingly every time he steps to the plate and he has great skill on the defensive side as well. They may not be ready for him yet, but if they do, the Angels could have back to back AL ROYs.
Minnesota Twins- Aaron Hicks CF
After a strong showing during Spring Training has earned Aaron Hicks the centerfield position for the Minnesota Twins. He has extreme control at the plate, and his speed makes him a threat whenever he reaches base. If he gets the number of at-bats it looks like he will get, ROY is a definite possibility.
New York Yankees- Mark Montgomery RHP
Unless they are struck by injuries, the New York Yankees won’t be leaning on any of their rookies this season. One prospect that is very intriguing is righty, Mark Montgomery. In the Minors, Montgomery appeared in 46 games, winning seven with a 1.54 ERA and a paltry 0.89 WHIP. His 99 strikes to 22 balls are a testament to the control he exhibits from the mound, and the temptation to get him up and running may be more than the Yankees can resist. Numbers like his make ROY a high possibility, if he were to get called up early enough in the season.
Oakland Athletics- Dan Straily RHP
Dan Straily broke onto the scene last year, displaying a multitude of pitches good enough to end the season as the Minor League strikeout leader. If the Oakland Athletics decide to see what he can do in the bigs, he would be their best bet at an ROY in 2013.
Seattle Mariners- Brandon Maurer RHP
After an impressive showing during Spring Training, Brandon Maurer could see enough action to qualify for the ROY criteria. Whether he can play well enough to actually receive consideration is yet to be seen.
Tampa Bay Rays- Wil Myers OF
It looks as though the Tampa Bay Rays will start Wil Myers in the Minors, but do not believe they will leave him there for long. Myers offers an unbelievable plate presence with a quick eye, fantastic bat speed and pure power. Even with a start in the Minors in the works, Myers is one of the early favorites for Rookie of the Year in the American League.
Texas Rangers- Nick Tepesch RHP
The Texas Rangers have a couple of the bigger name prospects working their way through the system, but with well played players already in place, those bigger names are going to get the opportunity to further develop before reaching the bright lights. This does not mean they have no one to offer up as a ROY candidate for 2013. Instead, take a look at Nick Tepesch, a 24-year-old right handed pitcher, who exhibits above average control with which he delivers everything from fastballs to sliders. Tepesch has everything it takes to become a solid starting option for the Rangers, and depending on how well he does, a ROY does not take a leap of the imagination.
Toronto Blue Jays- D.J. Davis OF
The Toronto Blue Jays are not likely to have room on the field or in the batters box for rookies this season. When they do though, watch for young D.J. Davis. The 17th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, Davis is as fast as they come, with a knack for stealing and base running. His speed also gives him the ability to become a premier defender at any position in the outfield. He will not be ready for a while, but when he is, Blue Jays fans will be pleased with a talented player, sure to be a ROY favorite.