Every Team’s Best Rookie Heading Into 2013 MLB Playoffs
2013 MLB Playoffs: Each Team’s Best Rookie
With the 2012 Rookies of the Year, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, being aged veterans, we look to the new crop of young talent for inspiration. As the 2013 MLB playoffs start in less than a week, it is a perfect time to take a look back on the postseason teams’ best rookies.
Unfortunately, this leaves out some skilled young ball players who performed well but played for teams that did not have what it takes to make the playoffs. One perfect example of this is Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins. Fernandez’s amazing rookie season was slighted by the fact that he played for the last place Marlins. With a 2.19 ERA, 12-6 record and 187 strikeouts, Fernandez is a strong contender for the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year.
In the American League, the Los Angeles Angels’ J.B. Shuck gets left off this list because of the Angels’ disappointing season. Shuck got to play because of an injury-plagued outfield and certainly proved himself worthy of the opportunity. The left fielder has managed to hit .290 thus far into the season in 125 games played and has racked up 20 doubles and 39 RBI in that time.
Then, of course, there are the talented rookies who cannot make this list because they have been overshadowed by another rookie on their very own team. One prime example of such a player comes from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Korean star has put together a fantastic season, but his contribution is eclipsed by a certain Cuban sensation who will be mentioned later in the slideshow.
Alas, there is no more time to cry over the overlooked or forgotten rookies whose teams have not made the playoffs. It is now time to start my slideshow of the best rookie on each team who has made the 2013 MLB playoffs. If you think another rookie is better than the one I listed, please leave a comment! Note: Since the AL Wild Card race is too close to call, I have included all three of those teams and all stats are as of 9/25.
Texas Rangers – SP Martin Perez
Martin Perez has done a fantastic job in his rookie season for the Texas Rangers. In his 19 starts, Perez has kept a respectful 3.55 ERA with a 10-5 record. With a 1.34 WHIP and 79 strikeouts, Perez has put together a good first season.
Cleveland Indians – RP Cody Allen
With a 2.49 ERA in 75 appearances, the Cleveland Indians’ reliever Cody Allen was a standout rookie performer in 2013. The 24-year-old figured out quickly how to calm his nerves and pitched like he had ice in his veins. Even as a rookie, Allen could be argued as the Indians’ best reliever this season.
Tampa Bay Rays – OF Wil Myers
Leaving pitcher Chris Archer off this list was a tough choice, but Wil Myers’ exceptional play for the Tampa Bay Rays this year made it happen. In only 83 games played, Myers knocked in 51 RBI and smashed 13 home runs while maintaining an impressive .292 batting average. With numbers like those, Archer can only receive an honorable mention.
Detroit Tigers – SS Jose Iglesias
The Detroit Tigers’ rookie shortstop, Jose Iglesias, has taken control as one of the clear frontrunners for 2013 AL Rookie of the Year. This Cuban sensation broke out for a .310 batting average in his 106 games played and has helped intensify one of the best offenses in the game.
Oakland Athletics – 1B/DH Nate Freiman
If you stand next to the Oakland Athletics’ first baseman Nate Freiman, you will feel small. The 6-8 rookie has burst on to the scene in Northern California with his big frame and his bat. Despite playing in only 79 games scattered through the season, Freiman managed to bat a solid .275 and plate 24 runners. Look for Freiman to do big things in the future.
Boston Red Sox – RP Alex Wilson
Unfortunately for the Boston Red Sox, their best rookie would have been the aforementioned Jose Iglesias, but they traded him to the Tigers in a move that brought Jake Peavy over. From there, not much can be said for the other Red Sox rookies who did not see a lot of time, but reliever Alex Wilson put up the best numbers. Wilson’s 4.88 ERA in 26 games pitched and his strikeout to walk ratio being above 1.00 land him on this list by default.
Cincinnati Reds – SP Tony Cingrani
Although the speedy Billy Hamilton has garnered most of the attention recently, left handed pitcher Tony Cingrani has been the best rookie for the Cincinnati Reds. In his 18 starts Cingrani has a 7-4 record and a 2.92 ERA. He also boasts an impressive 1.10 WHIP as Cingrani had the more complete portfolio than Hamilton in 2013.
Pittsburgh Pirates – SP Gerrit Cole
This was another tough call as reliever Justin Wilson put up some great numbers for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but in the end, starter Gerrit Cole gets my nod. With an ERA of 3.22, a WHIP of 1.17 and a 10-7 record in his 19 starts, Cole has been getting the job done every five days. His last five starts helped push the Pirates to the Wild Card while only allowing six earned runs in that span. Cole certainly had a great rookie season.
Los Angeles Dodgers – OF Yasiel Puig
As I hinted before, Hyun-Jin Ryu gets left off this list because of the Cuban phenom, Yasiel Puig. A clear frontrunner for NL Rookie of the Year, Puig spurred the Dodgers when they need it most and finished the season with an amazing .325 average. With an on base percentage of .395 and 42 RBI in only 100 games played, Puig has had a rookie season that will be talked about for years to come.
Atlanta Braves – SP Julio Teheran
If you have not heard of the Atlanta Braves’ rookie pitcher Julio Teheran, then you are in the right place. Teheran burst onto the scene and put together an impressive year on the Braves’ pitching staff. With a 13-8 record in 29 starts and a 3.09 ERA, Teheran has had one of the most complete seasons of all MLB rookies in 2013.
St. Louis Cardinals – SP Shelby Miller
The St. Louis Cardinals are absolutely bursting with young, fresh talent. I could have easily chosen two of their relievers or even first baseman Matt Adams, but I have to give the nod to starter Shelby Miller who, like Teheran, had a fantastic, complete season. In 31 starts, Miller has pitched to a 3.06 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP while striking out almost three times as many batters as he has walked. Such an impressive year from a great, young pitcher!