Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Being that the Marlins so often rely on contributions from rookies, the team almost always has at least one player on Rookie of the Year watch lists. Though this year's class won't match the 2006 class that featured three Marlins among the top four vote-getters in ROY voting (including award-winner SS1a). Nonetheless, many are expecting to see some Marlins in the hunt. Let's take a look at the Marlins' rookie class, and assess their chances of winning the award (all numerical estimates completely arbitrary).1 One quick note, I'm only citing the most elementary of statistics, since those are the only which most ROY voters care about (mention WARP3 to a voter, and he'll probably call you a nerd and make a lame joke).
1. Cameron Maybin, CF: Future Former Marlin Maybin has the starting centerfielder job pretty much locked up, so he'll have the best chance among the Marlins' rookies to make a good impression. In September call-up action, he did not disappoint, going 16 for 32 while stealing 4 bases. Maybin strikes out a bit much for a leadoff hitter (so he'll fit in with the rest of the team just fine), and he won't put up gaudy power numbers, but he already has buzz, which makes a big difference in awards voting. When Hanley Ramirez won ROY in 2006, he hit .292, OPSed .833, hit 17 home runs, and stole 51 bases from the leadoff spot. If he can match those numbers and not embarrass himself on defense, then he'll have a great shot. I'm giving him a 40% chance.
2. Gaby Sanchez, 1B: I was pretty optimistic about Sanchez heading into Spring Training, but he has not stood out at all. As Ted pointed out, Sanchez may have to start the season. Nonetheless, FanGraphs thinks he'll be good for 15 home runs and 65 RBI if he can get into the starting lineup. That's not bad, but it won't win him ROY. I'm giving him a 12% chance, since he'll get decent protection in the batting order.
3. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B: Bonifacio has two things going against him. First, he's stuck behind Dan Uggla, and only an injury would open up the starting job for him. Second, in the words of FanGraph's Marc Hulet, "He's really fast, doesn’t walk enough and strikes out too much." I'm giving Emilio a 0.4% chance at winning ROY.
1 John Baker and Dallas McPherson have too much service time to qualify as rookies.
Image via espn.com