There is minimal suspense leading up to tomorrow’s announcement of the Rookie of the Year Awards. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is all but guaranteed to win the award, and justifiably so considering he’s a strong candidate to take the AL MVP award as well. So that leaves Yoenis Cespedes and Yu Darvish to battle it out for the second place votes as the other 2 finalists for the award.
In years prior, the award would simply be announced and everyone else who came up short would be just that. This year though each of the 3 players get the distinction of being finalists, it’s like being an Academy Award nominee, not quite as nice as winning but it’s still a small feather to put in your career cap. That’s where Cespedes and Darvish find themselves right now.
There is no shame whatsoever in finishing second behind someone of Trout’s caliber. The manner in which he burst onto the scene this year at the age of 20 is very very rare. Trout’s slash line of .326/.399/.564 is not supposed to belong to a player that young. It’s unfortunate that the A’s will have to deal with him in the division for many years to come. Trout will take this award, and should take the MVP award over the Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera as well.
Cespedes was an unknown leading into the season, the A’s hoped to get a return on their 4 year investment and it’s safe to say they have. In any normal year, with a normal class of rookies Cespedes would be a clear favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award, but as we’ve already noted this was far from a normal class. Cespedes did post a very solid .292/.356/.505 line in 540 plate appearances. He went deep 23 times, drove in 82 runs and played ever improving defense as he settled into left field. Cespedes will be a force in the middle of the Athletics lineup hopefully for many years to come as well.
Darvish went 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA for the Texas Rangers, he struck out 221 in his 191.1 innings of work. He has dynamic stuff to say the least, but his high win total was largely due to having the potent Rangers lineup supporting him.
This could end up being a unanimous vote, and I wouldn’t really have a complaint if that were the case. But it would be nice if Cespedes were able to somehow steal some 1st place votes and secure 2nd in the voting. The A’s have had a lot to be proud of in 2012, and the accomplishments of Yoenis Cespedes just add to that resume.