Before the season started, I figured the Jays had a good shot at having the Rookie of the Year because I thought Travis Snider would have a great season. Shows what I know. But even without him the Jays have two strong candidates for first half Rookie of the Year in April's AL Rookie of the Month Scott Richmond and Ricky Romero. So I thought I'd take a look at who have been the top rookies to this point in the season.
Of the everyday players, I think there are only 3 rookies worthy of mention:
Brett Gardner Yankees VORP 11.7 .286/.357/.421. Gardner won the Yankee's center field job out of spring training. He's played in 66 games, has 3 homers, 4 triples, 17 steals and driven in 13 and he covers a lot of ground in CF.
Nolan Reimold Orioles VORP 8.7 .286/.371/.540. Nolan was called up to the Orioles in the middle of May and has played almost every day since. He's played 40 games, has 9 homers and 20 RBI.
Elvis Andrus Rangers VORP 7.8 .264/.324/.378. Andrus value has been mostly with the glove, he's a huge improvement over Michael Young at SS and is a big reason for the improvement in the Texas team defense. He has played 63 game, with 3 homer, 5 triples, 14 RBI and 11 steals.
There are a lot more rookie pitchers in the AL that are having a good season up till this point:
Ricky Romero Blue Jays VORP 18.7, 3.20, 5-3. If it wasn't for the injury I think Romero would easily be the first half Rookie of the Year. Even with the injury he has the highest VORP of any rookie. He's had 10 starts, 64.2 innings,a WHIP of 1.268 and has struck out 7.5/9 innings.
Brad Bergesen Orioles VORP 17.6, 3.76, 5-2. Bergesen has been has been one of the few bright lights in the Orioles pitching staff. He's made 13 starts, 83.2 innings and a WHIP of 1.219.
Andrew Bailey A's VORP 17.5, 2.14, 4-1. Bailey has done a great job as closer for the A's. He has 8 saves, pitched 46.1 innings in 35 games and has a 1.014 WHIP. He has stuck out 10.5/9 innings.
Rick Porcello Tigers VORP 17.2, 3.55, 8-4. We got to see Porcello's first start, and we thumped him, in a game that was also Ricky Romero's first start and first win. Unfortunately RoY voters would look at the 8 wins and vote for him. He's made 14 starts, 78.2 innings and a 1.360 WHIP.
Scott Richmond Blue Jays VORP 16.1, 6-4, 3.68. Richmond got the April AL Rookie of the Month award. You've all heard the story enough but he's been better than the Jays could have hoped for. He's made 12 starts and 3 relief appearances for us pitching 78.1 innings and a 1.162 WHIP. He's also striking out 7.4/9 innings.
Josh Outman A's VORP 12.9, 4-1, 3.48. Still the best last name for a pitch in the league. He's made 12 starts and 2 relief appearances, 67.1 innings, a 1.158 WHIP and 7.1 strikeouts/9 innings.
Trevor Cahill A's VORP 10.5, 5-6, 4.23. Cahill leads all rookies with 16 starts (no one in baseball has more starts), he's thrown 89.1 innings and has a 1.388 WHIP.
I know if Rookie of the Year voters were voting at this point they would likely pick Rick Porcello or maybe the Yankee Gardner or some would over-rate his defense and pick Andrus. Me? I'd take Ricky Romero. But then I'm biased. You'd have to guess, at this point, that Romero and Richmond have as much a chance as anyone to be the Rookie of the Year if they can keep it up in the second half.