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Rookie of the Year: Nominations open

Pick 5!

New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Posting this earlier, since I think this afternoon/evening will likely be dominated by whatever non-tender decisions the Diamondbacks make later in the day. At least with this category, we have some fairly standard qualifications to help us narrow down the field a bit. We use the same limitations on rookie as the BBWAA does in their voting. In order to be a rookie, a player must have:

  • Fewer than 130 at bats or.
  • Fewer than 50 innings pitched.
  • Fewer than 45 days on the active roster, excluding time on the disabled list, in military service, or time when the rosters are expanded (currently after September 1.

However, we still have some work to do. Because tells us that there were sixteen different rookies used by the D-backs this year.

  • Taylor Clarke
  • Stefan Crichton
  • Kevin Cron
  • Jon Duplantier
  • Zac Gallen
  • Kevin Ginkel
  • Merrill Kelly
  • Domingo Leyba
  • Tim Locastro
  • Yoan Lopez
  • Joel Payamps
  • Josh Rojas
  • Jimmie Sherfy
  • Ildemaro Vargas
  • Christian Walker
  • Alex Young

That’s slightly more than the median (13.5), though is a sharp uptick on what it has been. During the three years under Mike Hazen, the number of rookies per season increased from seven in 2017, to nine last year, before making the great leap forward in 2019. A reflection of the improving state of the farm system? Possibly. But it still has further to go to match the nineteen who appeared for the Diamondbacks over the 2016 campaign.

Anyway, first step is to narrow the players above to a more ballot-friendly five or so. If we were to go on straight bWAR, the five candidates would be Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Tim Locastro, Christian Walker and Alex Young. But I’m prepared, as ever, to hear arguments for any of the other candidates. I’m leaning towards Yoan Lopez, perhaps, since he became only the fourth rookie pitcher in franchise history to appear 70+ times in a season (and one of the others was Yoshihisa Hirano, so likely deserves an asterisk). Vargas and Cron are a couple of others for whom I can think of a case, but that’s what the comments section is for.