Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 7/23/13
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The first half of the season had no shortage of rookie storylines, with the likes of El Oso Blanco and Puig-Mania taking the game by storm. What will the final months bring as more rookies are given a taste of the majors? Here's a look at how the top rookies stack up in the first games after the All-Star break (stats through July 22). 1. Shelby Miller, Cardinals 9-6, 2.92 ERA, 112 K, 1.11 WHIP He remains the leader despite an unexceptional last six starts before the All-Star break as he went 2-3 with a 5.52 ERA, because overall he still boasts the fifth-best strikeout rate in the National League at 3.86. He's also the only player on this list who can say that he's fished off his own dugout. Did you catch anything, @ShelbyMiller19? Check out a few photos from your fishing trip: http:t.co2US6Gk905F pic.twitter.com3e2jTxn7bx St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 10, 2013 With 104 23 innings over the first half of the season, third most on St. Louis' staff, he was given 13 days off between his last start and Tuesday's outing against the Phillies. But is fatigue going to be a concern as they try to extend him September and beyond? Miller told the 'St. Louis Post-Dispatch' he has an arbitrary goal of 180 for the season. The team has set no innings threshold for 22-year-old. But after throwing 153 23 innings last season, a career-high, between Triple-A Memphis and the 17 he threw late in the season and in the playoffs for the Cardinals, it's a big enough of a jump that you have to wonder how he'll react. 2. Jose Fernandez, Marlins 505, 2.75 ERA, 103 Ks, 1.08 WHIP The 20-year-old put together a rather impressive performance in his first All-Star Game appearance, striking out Dustin Pedroia (a former MVP) and Chris Davis (current home run king) and getting Miguel Cabrera (Triple Crown winner) to pop out. He also got some major props for rocking some cleats that featured his Twitter handle. .@FreddieFreeman5 and @josefernandez77 rocking their @twitter handles on their cleats: pic.twitter.comQygdfEnoNa MLB (@MLB) July 17, 2013 Manager Mike Redmond has said they are eyeing a 150-170-innings limit for Fernandez, who has 104 23 under his belt already. That means we could be looking at anywhere between 7-11 starts, at a minimum before he hits that limit. Considering the Cardinals' plans to extend Miller and that Puig isn't going to be limited, that innings cap could hurt Fernandez's Rookie of the Year case, meaning he'll have to be resigned to simply being this rookie class' only All-Star. 3. Yasiel Puig, Dodgers .394.398.570, 8 HRs, 20 RBI American spoke. Did Puig take it to heart? After losing the vote for the final spot on the National League All-Star roster to the Braves' Freddie Freeman, Puig hasn't been the same. He's gone 4-for-23 (.167) in seven games since that July 11 vote and doesn't have an extra base hit in that span. Plus, his strikeout rate is climbing, with 23 Ks in is last 16 games overall and he has a 24.4 rate on the season. Overall he's second among all rookies with a 2.0 WAR, trailing only the Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock (2.1) and he continues to find ways to amaze, making one of the most incredible throws of the season on Friday with this throw (gif via mlbgifs.com) to beat the Nationals' Bryce Harper at third from deep right field. But the umpire called Harper safe, so there's that. 4. Wil Myers, Rays .310.336.460, 4 HRs, 18 RBI Since joining the Rays on June 18, Myers has been as captivating as Gattis or Puig. He leads all rookies with 18 home runs since his call-up, is tied with Puig for the lead with four home runs and he's second in hits, trailing the Dodgers phenom by one. He started the second half on fire, going 5-for-9 with a homer before sitting out Sunday and Monday as a precaution with sore wrist that he said he hurt while making a slide against the Twins before the All-Star break. It's bound to be a sore subject for Royals fans, but traded to Tampa Bay for James Shields, Myers' 122 OPS would put him first among all Kansas City players. Royals have one more year of Shields, Davis. And it'll cost em 17mill. Rays have 5 yrs of Wil Myers - club control. Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) July 11, 2013 5. Jose Iglesias, Red Sox .351.399.438, 10 2B, 17 RBI Are we still saying Iglesias can't hit? Called all-glove, no-bat before the season, he's proving those forecasts wrong and hasn't let anyone down on the defensive end, posting a .950 fielding percentage at third base and .990 at shortstop. jose iglesias impressing baseball folks, not only w batting average but instincts. 1 scout: "another omar vizquel." Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 9, 2013The first rookie since Tony Oliva in 1964 to get 43 hit in his first 100 at-bats, Iglesias also joined some serious heady territory among Red Sox in becoming the third player, along with Manny Ramirez and Ted Williams, with 60 hit sin his first 150 at-bats. But as good as he's been overall, Iglesias has cooled of late with two hits in his last 22 at-bats and his last extra-base hit was on July 4.
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