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AZ SnakePit 2018 Awards: Rookie of the year nominations open

Though I’ve a feeling this one may be more of a procession.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Houston Astros Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

At the risk of stating the obvious, I’m fairly sure that there is going to be one winner in this category. That’d be the player who actually GOT a mention in Rookie of the Year voting, Yoshihisa Hirano [even if it was from a Japanese reporter]. He was the first Diamondback to be mentioned on anyone’s ballot since Ender Inciarte in 2014. The only potential question is the common one which is asked about Japanese players - are they really “rookies”? Hirano was far and away the oldest player ever to debut for Arizona. Remember the fuss when Matt Buschmann finally got to make his MLB debut at 32, after a decade in the minors? Hirano was almost two years older than that, when he took the mound on Opening Day.

There is certainly an argument to be made that it’s unfair to compare a player of that age, who has been pitching since 2006 in the world’s second best league, against the likes of Joey Krehbiel or Yoan Lopez, a decade younger and nowhere near as experienced. It’s not one which seems to have ever been successful, as we have seen on several occasions, since the 32-year-old Kazuhiro Sasaki won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2000. The rules for rookie eligibility only cover time spent in the major leagues, but it at least seems like a conversation worth having, as to whether or not it should apply here. As far as the Pitties are concerned, it’s the first time we’ve had a situation like this.

We will also have to other nominees - because, don’t forget, it’s an honor just to be nominated! The list below is of all nine players who were rookie eligible (per the standard rules) and who appeared for the D-backs in 2018. Those in bold have retained their rookie status for 2019, because they didn’t play enough this season.

  • Socrates Brito
  • Yoshihisa Hirano
  • Matt Koch
  • Joey Krehbiel
  • Yoan Lopez
  • Troy Scribner
  • Jimmie Sherfy
  • Ildemaro Vargas
  • Christian Walker

So, select five of the above to move onto the final stage of voting, and let us know if you think Hirano should be eligible or not.