Going into the All-Star break, there have been no clear front-runners for the AL Rookie of the Year Award. With rookie pitchers being sent back-and-fourth from the MLB roster to the Triple-A roster, it looks like the winner of this year’s award will not be a pitcher — and it’s not as if there’s a strong crop of first-year position players either.
Well, one of the only consistent rookies has been Boston Red Sox infielder Jose Iglesias.
When the 2013 season began, Iglesias wasn’t even on the Red Sox’ MLB roster. With young third baseman Will Middlebrooks emerging as the next star in the majors, Iglesias started the season with the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox.
Iglesias struggled severely in the minors. Playing in 33 games, he posted a .202 batting average, and hit only four home runs and 15 RBIs. These numbers do not earn a promotion for 95% of players on a Triple A roster. Iglesias, on the other hand, was fortunate enough to get an opportunity.
Middlebrooks suffered an injury that forced the Red Sox to call up Iglesias. They didn’t expect much and just needed a player that could fill Middlebrooks’ role until he was healthy. Iglesias wanted to stay on the roster, and he definitely proved that he could produce.
While Middlebrooks was absent, Iglesias hit over .400, a shock to the Red Sox organization. This, along with his stellar defense and ability to play multiple positions, earned him the starting job over Middlebrooks.
Iglesias has slowed down as of late, as his batting average now at .375. Still, this kind of consistency is something that any team will take. While he only has one home run, he is a 2.5 WAR player, which is astounding for a rookie.
Will Iglesias keep up this type of statistics in the second half of the season? Or will another rookie emerge and beat out Iglesias for the Rookie of the Year honors?