As we discussed on Monday, the 2017 crop of Arizona Diamondbacks’ rookies was close to the “scorched earth” level of harvest. This season, rookies were responsible for only 3.4% of plate appearances by position players, and an even lower fraction (2.5%) of innings pitched. To be honest, Mike’s reviews of Breakout Player and Newcomer of the Year, likely have far more relevance than the rookies to the team this season. But I am nothing if not a creature of habit, and since we’ve done rookies for the past decade, I’m not going to let a mere shortage of contenders stop me this time!
However, we have added a “No award” category to the poll. This is actually the defending champion, the award having been withheld last year, due to questionable voting patterns. For 2017, however, it’s here on its own merits. Those who think the low level of candidates would cheapen the stature of the award, can vote for that, and we’ll do as we did last season: the highest-tallying player will get an “Honorable mention,” but the definitive rolls of honor will show a blank for this category. Therefore, for your consideration...
Far and away the most active of any rookie this season, Fuentes is the only D-back who will actually lose their status there for next year. This was actually his third season in the majors, having debuted with San Diego back in 2013. But he had managed only 80 PA between then and being called up to Arizona in mid-May. Initially, he seemed horribly over-matched, batting just .136 (6-for-44) over his first 16 games, with one walk and a .337 OPS. But he seemed to figure things out, hitting .283/.333/.413 for a .746 OPS the rest of the way, and it’s never easy to be a role player. His defense was pretty solid, and he was able to play all three outfield positions as well.
Called up to make his major-league debut on August 20, Sherfy wasted no time, picking up his first win the following day, and his first save in only his third appearance. All told, he pitched in 11 games and did not allow a run, pitching 10.2 scoreless innings with a K:BB ratio of 9:2. Opponents batted only .143 off Sherfy in the regular season, and his surge of late-schedule performance proved good enough for Jimmie to make his way onto the Diamondbacks’ playoff roster. It’s probably fortunate for Sherfy, shall we say, that post-season results are not included. But he looks set to be a fixture in the Arizona bullpen for the coming years.
Walker, like Fuentes, was a rookie but not a debutant, having first been seen in the majors as a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 2014. He didn’t see much action for the Diamondbacks, appearing in 11 games, and only starting once. But he certainly made the most of his limited playing time in Sedona Red. All of his hits were for extra-bases with a double and two home-runs, giving Christian an OPS of 1.233 for the year. That’s the highest OPS in franchise history by any player with 15 or more plate-appearances. Second and third on that list are Luis Gonzales’s 2001 and J.D. Martinez this season.
Ward will be seeking to repeat as Rookie of the Year, having also taken home the trophy for this category last year. :)
Who should be the Diamondbacks rookie of the year?
This poll is closed