Monday, November 11, 2013

Dodgers' Yasiel Puig finishes second to Marlins' Jose Fernandez in NL ROY

Yasiel Puig finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting on Tuesday, losing out to Marlins' sensation Jose Fernandez.

Fernandez got 26 of the 30 first-place votes, totaling 142 points. Puig got four of 30 first-place votes and 95 total points.

Fernandez went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, a Major League-leading 5.8 hits per nine innings and a 9.7 K/9. He did all this in his age-20 season, which is even more remarkable.

While Puig had a bigger positive impact on his team than Fernandez did, the award is for the best NL rookie, not the most valuable.

Puig was great in his debut season and definitely helped to catapult the Dodgers to one of the best 50-game stretches in MLB history (42-8). He hit .319/.391/.534 with 19 home runs, 42 RBI and 66 runs scored in 104 games. He made an immediate impact in his first game, throwing out a runner at first base on a deep fly ball to end the game. It was one of the most amazing throws I've ever seen.

In any other year, Puig would have been the runaway winner of the award. But in 2013, the NL ROY race was stacked. Shebly Miller finished in third and Hyun-Jin Ryu in fourth (10 third-place votes, 10 points). And Ryu was great in his own right. His age (26) and professional experience (Korea Baseball Organization) worked against him. 

The Dodgers haven't had a ROY winner since Todd Hollandsworth won the award in 1996, which capped a 4-year run of Dodger rookies taking home the honor (Eric Karros, 1992; Mike Piazza, 1993; Raul Mondesi, 1994; Hideo Nomo, 1995).

The Dodgers figure to have a contender for the 2014 award in Alexander Guerrero. I'm sure his age (27) will work against him next year. Then again, the rookie field probably won't be nearly as good as it was this season.

The voters got this one right.

Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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