Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A.L. R.O.Y. Candidates

We've still got a lot of baseball to play, and there's really no way to say if the 2008 ROY is even in the majors right now, but here are a few popular (and maybe not so popular) candidates in the A.L. and how they're doing...

  1. Evan Longoria -- He's only hitting .248 on the year, but with 12 home runs in 272 plate appearances, it's hard to count Longoria out. For the year his BABIP is .288, so I could see the logic in arguing that his average will probably end up closer to .270, but even with 25+ home runs he may not finish with the most impressive numbers, and I don't see the '08 R.O.Y. in his future.
  2. Jacoby Ellsbury -- June has been a little rough on Ellsbury's numbers, especially the 20.7% K%. However, he is on pace for somewhere around 80 stolen bases, and playing for the Boston Red Sox means he'll get plenty of popularity votes regardless of his numbers. I'd give him a 50/50 chance right now.
  3. Armando Galarraga -- One of the biggest problems I have with the R.O.Y. award is the fact that age is never given any consideration. While Galarraga's 3.03 ERA looks nice, I can't justify a 26 year old "rookie" getting the award when there are plenty of pitchers under 25 years old having better years. Age aside, Galarraga is benefiting from a .204 BABIP which suggests that his ERA will likely end up closer to 4.00 once that BABIP bounces back to normal, and the R.O.Y. will go to someone else.
  4. Joba Chamberlain -- It's hard to believe Chamberlain is still considered a rookie, but he probably has the best chance of winning ROY for 2 reasons: 1)He has the stats, and 2) he plays for the Yankees. With an ERA of 2.36 and a K/9 rate over 11, there's plenty to like about Chamberlain, and now that he's starting on a regular basis he should pile up quite a few wins with the help of a decent Yankees offense. Mix in the popularity vote, and you have all the makings of the '08 R.O.Y.
  5. Clay Buchholz -- I don't really think Buchholz has more than a 20% chance of winning the ROY, but I guess it's possible. His rough start with Boston resulted in a 5.53 ERA and a 2-3 record, but he's getting it back together at AAA and the second half could be a lot better for Buchholz. Like I said, the odds are against him, but don't count him out just yet.
  6. Aaron Laffey -- Laffey is the sleeper in the group, but he's been superb in all but 1 of his starts and his ERA of 2.83 looks very legit when you factor in his peripheral stats. In fact, his GB% and K% are both down from his career averages, meaning that the best for Laffey is probably yet to come. Unfortunately, the Indians offense is still M.I.A., so the win column may not reflect Laffey's true success, and ROY voters often go for the easy to interpret shiny numbers like wins and home runs while overlooking more meaningful stats. Right now, I think Laffey is just behind Chamberlain in the ROY race.
There are probably a few other candidates, but these are the players I think have the best shot at winning ROY. If you have any others, let me know.

-Adam G.


Anonymous said...

Joba is the favorite, Aaron Laffey is just behind him, Jacoby Ellsbury has a 50% chance. These three are giving it a 150%.

Anonymous said...

How do you like Longo now?

Adam said...

Longo is definitely looking better, and if he keeps up his recent production then he would be the unanimous choice for ROY.

But, that means he has to continue hitting around .300 and posting an ISOP near .250. Both could very well happen, but I'm not ready to give it to Longo for a single month of great numbers.