3 Candidates for AL ROY

Posted: 03/11/2012 by levcohen in Baseball

Today is 3 candidates for the AL Rookie of the Year, keeping in mind that opportunity and ability both matter. The AL has, overall, a stronger group of rookies than the NL this year.

Matt Moore, TB SP:

Ability: Matt Moore has tremendous stuff, leading to many comparisons to Steve Carlton. Yes, Moore, a 22 year old with 9.1 innings of MLB experience, is being compared to a pitcher who might be the best lefty of all time. While these comparisons are premature, Moore does have great stuff. In 5 minor league seasons, he had a 2.64 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, and 12.7 strikeouts/9 innings, a tremendous amount, in close to 500 innings. Last year, he had a 1.92 ERA, a .95 WHIP, and a 210/46 K/BB rate in 155 innings. He also through a no hitter. Although in a small sample size, he also pitched well in the majors. He has a 98 MPH fastball, and a great curveball. Add in a well above average change up, and he has the stuff to become the best pitcher in baseball.

Opportunity: Moore also has the opportunity needed to win a rookie of the year award. He is assured a spot in the starting rotation, and the Rays won’t have a serious innings cap on him, as he has proved durable in the past. He will probably start the season as the #4 starter behind David Price, James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson but he has the talent to post better numbers than all of them.

My projections: 182 IP, 14-7, 3.34 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 168 K

Jarrod Parker, OAK SP:

Ability: Parker, a 23 year old, was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Athletics this offseason for Trevor Cahill. This could well be good for him. He is moved from a strong, crowded rotation to a rebuilding team. Parker has been rated as a top 10 prospect, and overcame Tommy John surgery. He throws 4 above average pitchers with good control. His fastball touches 99 (even after Tommy J), and his slider is awfully hard to hit. He also throws above average change ups and curveballs

Opportunity: In Oakland, Parker should have a regular spot in the rotation. This move is good for him because he is moved from a hitters park to a pitchers park, and because this rotation is much less crowded. He should throw about 140 innings which would be enough to be in the running for ROY.

My projections: 140 innings, 8-8, 3.97 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 108 K’s

good stats, but Moore clearly beats them.

Jesus Montero, SEA C/DH:

Ability: Montero was traded from the Yankees to the Mariners this offseason. He has long since been considered a top prospects, and at the age of 22 should be ready to make a big contribution. However, his defense is a problem and he is likely to become a full time DH. Over nearly 500 career minor league games he has a .308 average with a .366 OBP and a .501 SLG. He will likely be the key bat in the Mariners lineup.

Opportunity: This is a move that has positives and negatives for Montero, but overall it should be  good for him. He will now probably bat cleanup and have a lot of at bats. However, he moves to a large ballpark where it is harder to hit. In terms of opportunity, however, I couldn’t have envisioned a better move for Montero.

My projections: 552 AB’s, 24 HR, 85 RBI, .278 AVG, .347 OBP, .457 SLG, .807 OPS

These stats are good enough to win the ROY most years, but it may be tough with stiff competition.

Here are the arguments for both Montero and Moore (Parker is the clear 3rd):

Matt Moore has the best potential of any pitcher in the minors, and has the ability and opportunity to be the ace on the Rays staff THIS YEAR.

Jesus Montero is the rookie whos team will rely on him the most. He is considered Seattle’s best hitter, and he won’t have any restriction on his AB total. Batting cleanup, he should get plenty of chances to boost his stats.

I think the winner will be Montero, in an upset. I think that, for a rookie, opportunity is more important than talent, if both players have a similar amount of talent. In this case, no team will rely on their rookie than Seattle. This bodes well for Jesus Montero.

  1. philabundant says:

    Too much pressure on Montero if he doesn’t get off to a good start. I vote for Matt Moore. And as great as Lefty (Carlton) was, I would vote for Lefty Grove as the greatest so far.

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