With every new season comes an opportunity to witness some of the games newest players. In MLB, it is crucial for teams to build with homegrown players because of the current landscape of free agency. More teams are locking up their younger players even before they hit arbitration years to prevent them from becoming free agents sooner than later. Because of this, the free agent markets have been watered down over the past couple years thus making it very difficult to compete in free agency.
Those are big reasons for teams to develop their own guys through the draft. This year we have several players lighting up the stat sheets and becoming integral parts of their teams. Now, there is not a Bryce Harper or Mike Trout out there this time around but those are guys that come around once every 10 years. This year's crop of rookies is dominated by the National League where as of now it seems like a 3 horse race for Rookie of the Year with at least four other players who could join the mix. Much different in the American League where the talent just isn't on par with the senior circuit. Obviously things can change dramatically between now & September but I have compiled a list of some of the current favorites for rookie of the year honors.
Jean Segura (MIL): .368 - 6 HR - 16 RBI 20 R - 13 SB
The talented shortstop of the Milwaukee Brewers is far and away the best rookie of 2013. He was the centerpiece of the deal that sent Zack Greinke to the Angels before the trade deadline of 2012, and fans of the Brew-crew couldn't be happier.
Shelby Miller (STL): 5-2 - 1.58 ERA - 51 K - 11 BB - 45.2 IP
Every year the Cardinals lose players to injury or free agency but they keep plugging guys right in to fill the voids. This year they add Miller to the rotation and they should be thrilled as the young right hander already looks like a star.
Tony Cingrani (CIN): 2-0 - 2.89 ERA - 37 K - 7 BB - 28 IP)
This young lefty joined the Reds rotation after an injury to ace Johnny Cueto and has been fantastic ever since. With Cueto coming back shortly, the Reds have a decision to make.
Evan Gattis (ATL): .252 - 7 HR - 20 RBI
Powerful Braves catcher getting outfield work with the return of Brian McCann.
Jose Fernandez (MIA): 2-2 - 3.65 ERA - 39 K - 14 BB - 37 IP
Multiple injuries forced the Fish to call up Fernandez, but the 20 year old is holding his own in the Bigs.
A.J. Pollock (ARI): .256 - 4 HR - 15 RBI - 18 R - 5 SB
This young outfielder is becoming a fixture in the Diamondbacks' lineup.
Justin Grimm (TEX): 2-3 - 4.28 - 34 K - 13 BB - 33.2 IP
It really is Grimm that this young right hander is among the best rookies the American League has to offer.
Nick Tepesch (TEX): 3-3 - 4.03 ERA - 30 K - 10 BB - 38 IP
Another young Ranger makes the list.
Trevor Bauer (CLE): 1-2 - 2.76 ERA - 11 K - 15 BB - 16.1 IP
This young right hander was sent to Cleveland from Arizona for another youngster, Didi Gregorious.
So there you have it. Some of the better young players for the 2013 season. Now these are just the players that are off to decent starts. It can probably be expected that a month from now I could mention guys like Nolan Arenado in Colorado, Aaron Hicks in Minnesota or even Zack Wheeler in N.Y. but for now let's enjoy these young players that are producing for the first time at the highest level of competition.
-M. LUCAS JR.
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