Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By CORY McCARTNEY  |  Last updated 8/13/13
The Senior Circuit is making for an interesting debate when it comes to Rookie of the Year. There's Yasiel Puig, the phenom who has ignited the Dodgers; there's Jose Fernandez, one of the few bright spots for the National League-worst Marlins; and there's the Cardinals' Shelby Miller and the Braves' Julio Teheran, key cogs in seemingly playoff-bound rotations. Will the pitchers split the vote and benefit Puig, who sits in the top spot in this week's Rookie Watch? (NOTE: All stats through 812) 1. Yasiel Puig, Dodgers OF .371.435.591, 11 HR, 27 RBI 'Rudy' is of course the story of an underdog who persevered before he finally got his shot at glory. Puig's story is a little different as the brash, talented star has quickly become the face of the NL West-leading Dodgers. But he still has some Rudy to him, signing an endorsement deal with Italian sunglasses and helmets maker Rudy Project. Puig is second among all rookies with a 3.9 WAR, is tops in slugging percentage and has an OPS of 188, which would be tied for the 108th highest in history, equaling Barry Bonds in 1999 and 2000, Jimmie Foxx in '39 and Mickey Mantle in '58.Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig has signed an exclusive sunglasses deal with Rudy Project pic.twitter.comHiM64aTlqJ darren rovell (@darrenrovell) August 8, 2013 2. Jose Fernandez, Marlins P 8-5, 2.58 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 143 K, 132.2 IP On any other team, he'd be inciting a Puig-level love affair. Fernandez boasts a rookie-leading 4.1 WAR and since the All-Star break, Fernandez has a 1.93 ERA with 40 strikeouts and seven walks. Plus he allowed just one home runs in 28 innings. With 13 strikeouts on July 28 and 14 K's in his following start on Aug. 2 he became the first player since Randy Johnson in 2004 with at least 13 in consecutive games. To truly grasp that 14-K performance, it's probably best to put things in the hands of the band Talking Heads. Their hit "Burning Down the House" is the soundtrack for this montage of Fernandez's strikeout fest. 3. Shelby Miller, Cardinals P 11-7, 2.89 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 132 K, 121.1 IP He put a scare into Cardinals fans, exiting his Aug. 7 start against the Dodgers after two pitches as he took a Carl Crawford line drive off his pitching elbow. But Miller won't miss a start as the right-hander is scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Pirates. He'll be looking to build on his 9.79 strikeout per nine innings, which tops all rookies with 87 23-plus innings pitched and his 11 wins, which is tied with the Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu for the rookie lead. For all he's done at the major league level it didn't stop the Double-A Springfield Cardinals from spelling Miller's name wrong on his bobblehead box.Shelby Miller Bobblehead Night pic.twitter.com7G9eJt9ScM Amanda Markel (@MrsMommy) August 12, 2013 4. Wil Myers, Rays OF .325.376.509, 8 HR, 31 RBI He has a .385 average since the All-Star break, which is first among all AL hitters who have at least 40 at-bats. In that span, he boasts a 1.116 OPS, which is fourth in the league, trailing only Miguel Cabrera (1.279), Jayson Werth (1.261) and Mike Trout (1.123). Myers did miss a chance to make a statement though in the weekend series against Puig and the Dodgers, hitting .182 (2 for 11) with one RBI and four K's, while Puig went 3 for 9 (.333) with two doubles and an RBI. Still, while the NL ROY race remains tight, Myers is simply dominating his circuit and taking all the intrigue out of the proceedings on the AL side.Online gaming site Bovada has TB OF Wil Myers at 1-3 choice to win AL Rookie of Year award. All other players combined at 2-1 odds. Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) August 6, 2013 5. Julio Teheran, Braves P 9-6, 3.08 ERA, 1.17 WHIP Monday he suffered his first loss since July 14, allowing four runs on six hits in six innings against the Phillies, a shaky performance which came after giving up four runs in his previous four starts combined. But overall since the All-Star break Teheran leads the NL East-leading Braves with a 2.10 ERA and has a 33:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The 22-year-old also continues to lead the majors with eight pickoffs, which is a franchise record. The secret to his success in that department? FOX Sports South's Paul Byrd breaks things down in the video below. Video: Inside Teheran's pickoff move
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