The Rookie of the Year Award can bring up a lot of discussion on who deserves it, who should have gotten it, and who got shafted.
This year, there are many worthy players in the National League, but two players separated themselves from the rest of the field, Dodgers' outfielder Yasiel Puig and Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.
Fernandez would be my choice for National League Rookie of the Year.
At just 20 years old, the Marlins' right-hander was added to the opening day roster in what many thought was a gimmick to sell tickets. The Marlins had dumped the rest of their players from the previous season and were heading into a year where they were expected to lose 100 games.
But Fernandez' performance was no gimmick. He was the Marlins' All-Star representative and twice won the NL Rookie of the Month award in back-to-back months, in July and in August. Fernandez finished the year with a 12-6 record while starting 28 games and throwing 172.2 innings with an ERA of 2.19. Fernandez also struck out 187 batters while walking only 58.
The Cuban native held his own with the bat as well. Fernandez hit .218 for the season, not great, but not bad for a pitcher. Fernandez even hit his first major league home run in his final start of the season.
Puig had an amazing spring training, but started the season in the minor leagues. When he was finally called up, Puig made his MLB debut on June 3, he went 2-for-4. Over his first month in the majors, Puig hit .436 with seven homers and 16 runs batted in to earn the NL Rookie of the Month Award.
Despite the Puig-mania sweeping the country, the Dodgers' rookie did not make the All-Star team. Puig still had a chance in the fan vote, but even when the public was given the chance to vote he did not make it.
Puig finished the season with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs. After his monster start in his first 26 games, Puig totaled just 12 home runs and 26 RBIs over the next 78 games.
Other deserving pitchers include St. Louis Cardinals rookie starting pitcher Shelby Miller and Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu. Then there is also Padres' second baseman Jedd Gyorko and possibly even Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams.
Miller was 15-9 for the Cardinals, starting 31 games and throwing 173.1 innings. Miller struck out 169 batters and walked 57 in his rookie campaign. How dominant was Miller? Early in the season, Miller gave up a leadoff single to Eric Young Jr. of the Rockies then retired the next 27 batters he faced, 13 of them on strikeouts.
Ryu came to the Dodgers from South Korea and finished his first season in the majors with a 14-8 record and a 3.00 ERA. Ryu struck out 154 batters and walked just 49 while making 30 starts and throwing 192 innings.
Gyorko's 23 home runs led all rookies in both leagues and his 63 runs batted in were two off the NL rookie lead (Evan Gattis hd 65) while batting .249 for San Diego. Adams, another slugger, hit 17 homers and drove in 51 runs with a .284 batting average, mostly coming off the bench. Adams' RBI and home run totals were the fourth highest of any National League rookie.
The American League vote is going to be the interesting case this year as there is no clear standout, runaway victor.
Wil Myers of the Tampa Bay Rays should win the award, but it won't be in a landslide. The Rays' outfielder could lose some votes to his teammate, starting pitcher Chris Archer as well as Tigers' shortstop Jose Iglesias.
Myers was dealt to Tampa Bay in the offseason when the Royals acquired James Shields. Myers did not make his MLB debut until June 18 and while that is what hurt Puig in the National League, it won't hurt Myers. The Rays' outfielder finished the year with 13 home runs (one behind AL rookie leader Oswaldo Arcia who had 14) and led the AL rookies with 53 RBIs, all while playing in 88 games. Additionally, Myers won the Rookie of the Month Award for his performance in September.
Archer, like Myers, did not start his first game of the 2013 season until June. He went on to finish the season with a 9-7 record for the Rays with a 3.22 ERA over 128 innings of work. He started 23 games and struck out 137 batters while walking 38. In July, Archer tossed two complete games, one of which was a two-hitter shutout and the other was a five-hit shutout over a span of three starts. That performance earned Archer the AL Rookie of the Month Award for July. However, in eight of his 23 starts, Archer did not make it to the fifth inning.
Iglesias will be an interesting case. I cannot remember the time a player was traded midseason and won the ROY award. Iglesias started the season as Boston's opening day shortstop. By the end of June, Iglesias had won the AL's Rookie of the Month Award. But, when the July 31 trade deadline approached, the Red Sox sent Iglesias packing, trading him to Detroit in a three team deal that brought back starting pitcher Jake Peavy from the White Sox.
Iglesias finished his Red Sox season with one home run, 19 RBIs, and a .330 batting average. When the season came to an end, Iglesias had three homers, 29 RBIs, and a .303 batting average.
There are a couple of other names that could receive some votes, Dan Straily and Martin Perez. Straily, of the Oakland A's, finished with a 10-8 record, and a 3.96 ERA to go with 124 Ks while Perez, of the Texas Rangers, went 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA and 84 Ks. Martin also won the Rookie of the Month Award in August for the American League.
If I had a chance to vote, I would pick Fernandez for the National League and Myers for the American League as this year's top rookies.