It may just be me, but doesn’t the month of August feel a little… bland? I mean, yes, we are witnessing the heart of the baseball season, but outside that? Blah. There’s only so much NFL training camp and NBA free agency a guy can take. Yes, the Lions looked good in 7-on-7’s… call me in mid-September. Allen Iverson is a free agent? Cool. But I regress. Although August may be a whole lot of baseball, we’re coming up on the postseason and with the postseason comes awards. With baseball begining it's postseason transition, lets take a look at the Rookie of the Year races in each league:
American League Rookie of the Year
This is probably the best rookie of the year race in recent memory. Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Romero (10-4; 3.53 era) has been the best rookie in the AL East, showing fans that the struggling David Price isn‘t the only rookie in the division. Romero has been one of the main reasons Roy Halladay hasn’t had to start every game for the Jays and should get serious consideration.
Another young pitcher from Motown has been opening eyes too. Tigers’ rookie Rick Porcello (9-7; 4.36 era) has been a great story for the surprising Tigers. Only 20 years old, Porcello has shown flashes of brilliance in his short stint in the big leagues. Pitch and innings counts may be his downfall. Porcello has yet to throw more then 90 pitches in a start and will likely be shut down sometime in September.
The only position player with serious chances at the award may be White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham (.314; 6hr 38rbi). Beckham, who was playing in the College World Series last year, is just getting his bat going after spending the season's first two months in AAA. If the White Sox can overtake the Tigers and steal the division lead, Beckham could propel himself into the lead.
National League Rookie of the Year
Unlike the AL, this is a 2 pony race and it's going to be going down to the wire. Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson (6-2; 3.22 era) was lights out in spring training and that hasn't changed since his call-up in June. The 22 year old righty has been a bright spot for an otherwise mediocre Braves team.
Meanwhile, at the top of the division, Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ has had one of the best seasons of any pitcher in the NL. Happ's 2.74 era ranks sixth in the NL, while his 1.14 whip comes in at seventh. With the recent acquisition Cliff Lee and the impending call-up of Pedro Martinez some say Happ's rotation spot may be in jeopardy. If the champs know what's right, and I think they do, Happ will be in the rotation for the rest of the season and beyond.
Pirates outfield sensation Andrew McCutchen (.289; 7hr 32rbi) has an outside chance at the ROY too, but with Pittsburgh going down and the dominance of Hanson and Happ, It'd take one amazing last 2 months for McCutchen to sneak in.