All season long, I have rated the rookies against the staggering 2001 totals of Albert Pujols. Not today. Today, they stand against only their fellow rookies. Here are final stats for the first-year hitters, including the one-game playoff for Kouzmanoff and Tulowitzki.
Some interesting stats there. I had assumed that Ryan J. Braun would dominate in multiple categories, but he really didn’t. It was only in the crucial power categories that he truly shone. Troy Tulowitzki was able to contribute more runs and RBIs in the Colorado lineup, and does, indeed, make a very strong case for the NL ROY crown.
In the AL, Pedroia had an amazingly low 42 strikeouts. I had assumed that the low K total would go to a player with fewer games under his belt, but Dustin was on the Boston roster from day one, so kudos to him for his amazing patience at the plate. He also legged out more doubles than any other player, which makes him the best offensive threat for the American League ROY.
Delmon Young started his personal iron man streak, going all 162 games and amassing a bone-crushing 645 at bats on a terrible team. He nearly missed #162 by pissing off his skipper, but had the good sense to apologize. Reggie Willits contributed to the playoff-bound Angels as well, walking 69 times and stealing 27 bases, tied with Arizona’s Chris B. Young.
The triples award goes to the speedy Akinori Iwamura. The Japanese import legged out a nice, round ten three-baggers. He will likely have to learn a new position next year to make way for Evan Longoria, but nothing can diminish that speed and determination.
The players who didn’t master any category were Alex Gordon, Josh Hamilton, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Hunter Pence. Three of them were hampered by their team prospects, and Kouzmanoff was kind of a jack-of-all-trades for the Padres, who narrowly missed the postseason on Monday. All four were great players, and should figure prominently in team plans next season.
Look out for Dustin Pedroia, Troy Tulowitzki, Chris B. Young, and Reggie Willits in the playoffs this year. I feel like I know a great deal about these guys and know what to expect from them by now, and I hope you do as well.
Enjoy the post season!