National League Rookie of the Year Prediction
- Updated: October 21, 2008
Even though the pool of players to be considered in the National League for the best rookie is not as well known across the country, there are a good number of players who put up numbers that could be considered for the award. The top three position players and pitchers will be explained and then the winner will be picked.
1. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds, 1B
There isn’t really a better way to stay out of the national media than to play for the Reds, and because Votto was held up in south west Ohio for the season, not many were privy to his performance. Votto led all National League rookies in at bats, hits, homeruns, batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS. He was also second in RBI. The Reds have a good core of young talent on their team and with players like Votto in the fold; they may garner some attention in the coming years.
2. Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs, C
Many more people have heard of Soto and the player to follow more because of the team they play for than their performance. This is not to discount Soto’s .285 batting average, 86 RBI or 23 homeruns, but it is to say he did not have as good of a season as did Votto. He also played for a team with other hitters, so many would argue, this took some pressure off of him to produce thus letting him relax and produce as he was used to.
3. Kosuke Fukudome, Chicago Cubs, RF
Some how, Fukudome became probably the most well known rookie in the National League during this year. Some would say it’s because of his odd name and others would argue, the reason is that he plays for the Cubs, but the fact is that his .257 average with 10 homeruns just wasn’t enough to compete with Votto or Soto.
1. Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves
Jurrjens is yet another player to go under the radar this season even though he won 13 games with a very respectable 3.68 ERA. He also led all rookies with 139 strikeouts and 188.1 innings pitched. Jurrjens is one of the players who may be able to help the Braves get back to their 1990s form that their fans are starving for and as it did then, it will without a doubt start with pitching.
2. Kiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers
After Jurrjens, the competition drops off a bit. This is not to say that these players aren’t good, or going to be good, but it is to say that they just could not win enough games no matter who their team was. Kuroda finished with a 9-10 record and a 3.73 ERA to go along with 116 strikeouts in 183.1 innings. All numbers that any team would take from a rookie pitcher. They just can’t compare to Jurrjens’.
3. John Lannen, Washington Nationals
Lannen had a tough draw pitching for the Nationals who would have had trouble winning games with Nolan Ryan on the hill. His 9-15 record is a bit misleading when considering his 3.91 ERA. He also tallied 117 strikeouts in 182 innings and allowed just 172 hits. If the Nationals would have been able to produce anything on offense, Lannen may be higher in this discussion.
Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves
Jurrjens gets the slight edge because he tallied 13 wins as a rookie on a team with a meeker offense. Putting up a 3.68 ERA is something any manager would be happy with for an entire season from a rookie. There is no doubt that Jurrjens produced more than many thought this year and if the Braves can produce a few more pitchers in his mold, they could be back to form once again.