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5 Dark Horse Candidates for 2014 AL Rookie of the Year

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5 Dark Horse Candidates for 2014 AL Rookie of the Year

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the MLB awards given out at the end of each season, few are more coveted and important than the Rookie of the Year. So much goes along with the label of being named the best rookie in the league that fans get as defensive and aggressive about this award as anyone. Think about the fact that Yasiel Puig didn’t get the award in the National League in 2013. Jose Fernandez deserved it but don’t expect to hear that from a Los Angeles Dodgers fan.

Since the award is so terribly important, we should look already at some of the favorites for who could win American League Rookie of the Year in the coming 2014 MLB regular season. Many are going to say that Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts will be the top favorite for the award. Considering his postseason performance, that could certainly be a popular choice. But who could be the unusual or dark horse options?

Every MLB season has surprises but some can be foretold if you pay close enough attention. Some may have looked close enough to assume Fernandez was going to get a MLB chance in 2013 for example but other than those few, no one would have picked him to win ROTY before the season started. Here are the top 5 dark horse candidates for 2014 AL Rookie of the Year. Leave a comment below if you have something to add.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

Related:

Ranking the Top 5 Rookies in the 2013 MLB World Series

Every Team’s Best Rookie Headed into the 2013 MLB Playoffs

5 MLB Rookies Who Deserve to be All-Stars in 2013

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5 – Dylan Bundy P – Baltimore Orioles

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Bundy was scheduled to burst onto the scene for the Orioles in a big way in 2013 but Tommy John surgery stopped that from happening. If he is able to return to the mound a year afterwards and burst onto the scene in the same way he was ready to last season, he could definitely compete for ROTY.

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4 – George Springer OF – Houston Astros

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Springer has shown to have some of the most productive abilities in all of the minor leagues. If the Astros bring him all the way to the majors in 2013 look for it to be a ROTY type of coming out party for the Astros in 2014.

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3 – Jose Abreu 1B – Chicago White Sox

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Abreu has some experience but if he is even close to what the White Sox plan for him to be offensively, he will definitely be a favorite for ROTY. At the same time he is a dark horse candidate because his MLB abilities are a complete guessing game right now.

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2 – Kyle Zimmer P – Kansas City Royals

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Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Zimmer had a tough ERA but his abilities are only tough on the opposing batters. This young guy could potentially be a future Cy-Young candidate but this next season would be at least a ROTY watchable if he is brought to the top baseball level in 2014.

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1 – Taijuan Walker P – Seattle Mariners

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

There are a ton of question marks surrounding the Mariners of 2014 but the potential of Walker in a MLB rookie season shouldn’t be one of them. The other two top pitchers on this staff could very well get a run for their money if Walker produces the way it appears he will be able to.