To judge an award based on an entire season’s worth of work on a day-to-day basis, but that’s how close the National League Rookie of the Year race has gotten. So until the end of the season, we’re going to look at how the contenders, Jason Heyward, Buster Posey and Jaime Garcia, are doing. Well, the first two, anyway (more on that in a second).
But why do this, why obsess over an award that often puts players up on a pedestal who turn out to be Bobby Crosby? The Dodgers won five straight ROY awards in the 1990’s, and those teams didn’t really do much. The reason why this is such a big deal speaks to what it’s been like to watch Posey this season (and Heyward, too). Plenty of Hall of Famers had amazing careers without winning the ROY since they handed out the first Major League Baseball ROY in 1947 to Jackie Robinson (they started giving out the award to the best rookie in the National and American Leagues two years later). But three of the five Giants to win the ROY went on to the HoF (Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey).
And compared to the 16 ROY awards the Dodgers have won over the years, the Giants are way behind. Yet another reason for Giants fans to obsess. So let’s get to obsessin’.
Current stats: .286/.401/.475, 18 HR, 81 R, 71 RBI, 9 SB, 4.6 WAR, so many walks it’s like he’s showing off
Last game (9/21): 1-for-4 with a single and one strikeout; Braves lost 5-3 to the Phillies. Braves 1 game ahead of the Padres in the Wild Card.
Chances of winning NL ROY: 50%
Current stats: .324/.373/.522, 15 HR, 52 R, 62 RBI, 0 SB, 3.9 WAR, not enough balls to start his 2010 MLB season when everyone else did
Last game (9/21): 1-for-4 with a strikeout and a certain home run you may or may not have heard about in a 1-0 win over the Cubs. Too bad rain delayed the start of last night’s game until after 8 pm local time, which means that half the writers on the East Coast were probably asleep by the time Posey crushed that homer just to the right of straightaway center. The only thing going against Posey (and this only applies to voters looking for a reason to discount Posey): he hit that bomb off some dude named Andrew Kashner, who doesn’t have the best numbers (5.22 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 8 HR allowed in 50 IP). However, a certain ESPN baseball writer with the same first name looks like he’s voting for Posey.
Chances of winning NL ROY: 49.99999%
Current stats: 13-8, 2.70 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 132 K, 64 BB, 3.2 WAR, ownage of a certain local baseball team
Last game (9/13): Loss, 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 4 K, 1 BB … but the real news is that due to recent struggles and “changes in Garcia’s mechanics that suggested fatigue,” Garcia has had his turn in the rotation skipped twice and may not pitch again this season. In other words: it’s now a 2-man race. Good, because the writers would look pretty stupid in 10 years if Garcia won the NL ROY in the same year Heyward and Posey debuted.
Chances of winning NL ROY: 0.00001% (Might be time to leave him off this list, don’t you think?)