Two breakout stars won the 2012 NL and AL Rookie of the Year awards. Los Angeles Angels star outfielder Mike Trout and Washington Nationals’ outfielder Bryce Harper were named Rookies of the Year last season. This season looks to be another strong one for talented rookies. This article takes a look at potential candidates for the 2013 NL and AL Rookie of the Year.
American League Rookie of the Year: Jurickson Profar – 2B/SS Texas Rangers
Jurickson Profar hit a home run in his first MLB at bat last season with the Texas Rangers, but then settled down to have a mediocre 9 game regular season debut. Profar played in a total of 10 games last year including going 1 for 1 in the Wild Card playoff game. The 19 year-old is one of the top rated prospects in all of baseball and will most likely get a full season with the Rangers, but at what position is still up in the air. For Profar to play in the infield, either Elvis Andrus or Ian Kinsler will need to move into a new position. Although he might not have the clearest path to winning the AL Rookie of the Year, he definitely has the talent and should get the opportunity to prove his worth this season with the Rangers.
Runner Up: Bruce Rondon – Closer Detroit Tigers
Not many opportunities open up like the one for young pitcher Bruce Rondon. After letting Jose Valverde walk via free agency, the starting closer position for the defending American League Champion Detroit Tigers is up for grabs and looks like Rondon’s job to lose. He is only 22 and can throw a 103 MPH fastball. In 2012, he saved 29 out of 32 opportunities in the Minors with a 1.53 ERA. As long as the Tigers are willing to give the job to Rondon from the start, he will have a great chance to put up solid numbers and win the AL Rookie of the Year.
National League Rookie of the Year: Tyler Skaggs – SP Arizona Diamonbacks
21 Year-old Tyler Skaggs got an opportunity late last season to show that he was ready to play in the Majors. In 6 starts, Skaggs went 1-3 with a 5.83 ERA. Although those aren’t impressive numbers, he did show promise through his first three starts, in which he went 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA and 12 strikeouts. Skaggs has a career Minor League ERA of 2.98 with 27 wins and 17 losses. He is one of the most talented young pitchers in the game and if he can find his groove, he has a good shot at 15-16 wins and the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2013.
Runner Up: Gerrit Cole – SP Pittsburgh Pirates
Gerrit Cole has yet to throw a pitch in MLB, but he is expected to become the Pittsburgh Pirates ace pitcher as early as this year. Cole was the first overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft out of UCLA and was promoted to Triple A in 2012 due to his strong performance in the Minors. The Pirates have an open spot in their rotation just waiting for Cole, and with A.J. Burnett as their current ace, they could use a talented pitcher like Cole now. Although he is more raw than Tyler Skaggs, he is probably a more talented pitcher. Look for Cole to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2013.
*Statistics from MLB via MLB.com