Well the writers let their voices be heard regarding their choice for Rookie of the Year in the American and National League this 2012 Major League Baseball season.
In the National League they got it wrong.
Starting things off, no less, with a pick I hope will be debated; because this year’s National League Rookie of the Year belongs to Arizona Diamondbacks rookie pitcher Wade Miley and not Bryce Harper.
I’ll take the collective groans, arguments, and anything else fans of the wunderkind and those in Washington have for me. I’ll take them because it is true and they, if they are true baseball fans, should know that while Harper may have better staying power Miley was clearly the statistical player.
Starting with the numbers, and they don’t lie, Miley lead all rookies in earned-run average (3.33), wins (16), strikeouts (144), innings pitched (194 1/3) and topped it off with a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 4.8, good for fourth in the National League and a tenth of a point behind Bryce Harper. In case you haven’t gotten a chance to familiarize yourself with Miley yet, his five-pitch arsenal (slider, curve, cutter, fastball, and change-up) also allowed him to become the lone Diamondback representative on this years National League All-Star team. That is an impressive feat given the difficulty to A.) make the team, and B.) do so alongside others in year one (without the help of injury or a final vote).
Now I take absolutely nothing away from Harper in 2012. His heroics down the stretch and his numbers (.270 BA, 22 HR, 5.0 WAR) at his age are remarkable to say the least. Without his contributions, obviously, the Nationals don’t finish first in their division or the senior circuit. But putting things into perspective allows you to see two things:
- The Nationals pitching staff, alone, kept them relevant the entire 2012 season
- LaRoche, Desmond, Morse, Zimmerman, and Werth aren’t exactly names to shake a stick at behind that staff.
We’re talking about a guy who, at 19, was plugged into a lineup that mashed before Harper arrived. Jason Heyward and Buster Posey put up numbers and seasons to remember in 2010, Mike Trout in 2012. Harper’s season, in contrast, has neither of those affects and I’m of the opinion that is what it takes to win this award nowadays. Not everyone is going to be Mike Trout, Posey or Heyward year one, but what Miley did on a staff where he led established veterans Ian Kennedy and Trevor Cahill in wins, ERA, WHIP and only walked 37 on the season jumps off the page for me.
Again, this is not a knock on Bryce Harper or anything he accomplished this season. But if this years Rookie of the Year out of the National League should have gone to Miley, and I would love nothing more than to sit back and debate the outrage of going against the masses for disagreeing with Bryce Harper winning this season.
Besides, I think we can all agree the other side’s rookie race was a given.