When the American League Rookie of the Year award is announced this evening, the question isn't "if" Mike Trout will win. The question is "will Mike Trout win the award unanimously?" He really should, because quite frankly, there isn't any much serious competition for the Angels center fielder from Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and A's left fielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Trout's 2012 has been ridiculous. He has more homers and stolen bases than Cespedes, known for his exciting blend of power and speed. While Cespedes' 23 homers and 16 steals are definitely impressive, Trout's 30 homers and 49 steals are incredible, especially for a rookie. Considering that Trout didn't turn 21 until August, that makes his overall stats even more impressive in comparison to Cespedes, who turned 27 in October after the Oakland season ended. Not only was Trout's season worlds better than Cespedes' season, he did it while being six years younger than him too.
On the mound for the Rangers, Darvish was impressive. But like Cespedes, he's much older than Trout, as Darvish celebrated his 26th birthday in August. And while Darvish's 10.40 strikeout rate is incredibly impressive, conjuring up thoughts of a 26-year old Hideo Nomo in his Rookie of the Year winning 1995, Nomo didn't have quite the opposite that Darvish does this year in Trout. While Chipper Jones had a great rookie season, it wasn't a legendary rookie season like Trout's 2012.
Mike Trout put together a ten win season as a rookie, spending most of the season as a 20-year old. Combined, Cespedes and Darvish barely cracked eight wins. That's an astounding stat. Unlike in 2011, when Jeremy Hellickson won the award by default because of an underwhelming slate of rookies in the AL, all three finalists are deserving. Either of the three would be a hands down winner last year. But this season, Mike Trout is going to run away with the award.