After one month into the six-month season, and it’s time for a way-too-early look at the awards field. This time, it’s the NL Rookie of the Year field. Last season, in the National League last year, it came down to first-year third baseman–Kris Bryant, Jung-ho Kang, and Matt Duffy. Let’s see how the field shapes up after a month into the 2016 season!
Trevor Story, SS: Story has simply put on a show in his brief time in the majors, breaking several records already in his career. With a league-leading 9 home runs, Story also has 15 RBIs and is batting .241 with 3 doubles, 2 triples, and 8 walks. The downside is that Story has struck out 34 times in 20 games.
Aledyms Diaz, SS: After Jhonny Peralta wasn’t going to be ready for the start of the season, and later acquisition Ruben Tejada wasn’t either, the Cardinals relied on Aledyms Diaz and he has simply wowed this year. Diaz is batting a whopping .446 with 29 hits in 20 games. With 4 home runs, an oustanding 8 doubles, and 1 three-bagger, Diaz is a powerful slugger. He has also only struck out a mere 3 times. Diaz has an OBP of .478 and an OPS of .785.
Corey Seager, SS: The top prospect in the majors, Seager was the overwhelming favorite for the Rookie of the Year in the offseason. In 22 games, Seager is definitely a part of the conversation thus far. The younger Seager is batting .258 with 2 home runs and 12 RBIs.
Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF: Another young Cardinals player has raised eyebrows this April–Jeremy Hazelbaker. In 21 games, Hazelbaker is batting .310 with 5 HRs and 13 RBIs. Jeremy has 3 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 walks as well.
Kenta Maeda, SP: Coming over from Japan, the Dodgers weren’t exactly sure what they’d be getting, but so far, Maeda has filled the vacancy of Zack Greinke’s spot in the rotation masterfully. In 32 innings, Maeda is 3-1 with a stellar 1.41 ERA. He has walked 6 and struck out 28.
Seung Hwan Oh, RP: Similar to Maeda, Oh has also come over from Asia to pitch in the majors this year with the Cardinals. In 11 IP, Oh has only given up 2 ER and struck out 19 batters. His WHIP is also in pristine condition at 0.75.
Others of Note:
Trea Turner: Turner was someone to watch in the preseason as a rise of top shortstop prospects was among us. The Nationals could use Turner as a replacement for Danny Espinosa, but they’ve yet to make the move. Once they inevitably do so, watch out for Turner in what is expected to be a great NL ROY race this year.
Steven Matz: Matz was another name as a part of the young Mets rotation. Things didn’t start off so smooth in his first start of the year when he gave up 7 ER in 1.2 innings but he’s rebounded nicely with a 7-inning shutout performance and a 6.1-inning with only 2 runs. With Matz back on track, expect another Mets pitcher to be in the conversation for the third year in the row following Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.
That’s it for the Rookie of the Year! We’ll soon move on to the Cy Young. Who is the favorite as of this moment for the Rookie of the Year? Do you take Story, Maeda, or perhaps Diaz?