Originally written on UmpBump.com  |  Last updated 6/13/12

Picking Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish to win the Rookie of the Year awards seemed like such a good idea at the time. It wasn’t that I discounted the talents of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, but I envisaged Harper crushing balls in the minors and Trout just starting to find his feet at this level y mid-June. Clearly both phenoms are outperforming all but the most optimistic of projections for the season are well on their way to picking up Rookie of the Year hardware, if not some MVP consideration. This has left a number of rookies in both leagues much further out of the ROY race than they would be in almost any other year. Here’s the AL players wishing Mike Trout hadn’t been called up quite so soon, with the NL rookies cursing Bryce Harper to follow.

Yu Darvish

My pre-season pick has been largely very good in his first dozen starts season stateside- his weakness seems to be dramatic, if occasional, loss of control. He’s certainly demonstrated that he’s got all the weapons to miss bats so if it appear a more positive approach in those outings would have produced better results. His 3.72 ERA (4.03 FIP) is nice enough but he certainly seems to have the capability to knock half a run or so off that figure before the end of the season.

Yoenis Cespedes 

Since his early season power display, Cespedes has had his season slowed by a couple of frustrating injuries. There’s nothing to indicate there should be any long term health concerns with the Cuban outfielder but it is possible that he may be someone who is susceptible to picking up injuries. Regardless of the time missed, Cespedes has managed a .275/.338/.489 slash line which, given he plays half his games in the Oakland Colosseum , gives him a very nice 126 OPS+. His at-bats remain events not to be not  missed for fear of not seeing him unleash his remarkable raw power.

Will Middlebrooks

The emergence of Middlebrooks has led to the Red Sox playing Adrian Gonzalez in right field on 14 occasions as well as reportedly thinking about trading Kevin Youkilis. It’s fair to say that neither of those things were in the pre-season blueprint. The young third baseman has come down to earth a bit after a blistering start to his Major League career, but a .300/.329/.508 line has made trading Youkilis a legitimate option. There’s still a strong chance that the Red Sox revert to ‘Plan A’ at some point over the summer and send Middlebrooks back to Triple-A, but as long as he keeps hitting like this he’s going to make himself a hard man to demote.


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