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Rookie Of The Year

This year's race for the 2007 Rookie-of-the-Year focuses on the National League because there are no serious hitters to compete against the obvious success of Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Because Dice-K has vast professional experience in the increasingly better-than-AAA Japanese leagues, a strong hitter would draw the attention of voters who feel, despite the rules, that Matsuzaka was not truly a rookie. That is not the case as pre-season contenders Delmon Young and Alex Gordon have disappointed so far. Alex Gordon by truly failing, and Delmon Young by not living up to the hype of a 30/30 player. He is on pace for a very good rookie season of 18/96/12/.278 though.

As anyone can tell from the list, the NL has the most attractive hitters. Hunter Pence leads all NL rookies with 40 extra base hits, and Diamondbacks' rookie Chris Young is second with 29. Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton are 4th and 5th with 27 and 26 XBHs respectively. Hard-charging Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki garners no mention for his quality inaugural season. Yet, if he were in the AL, he'd be mentioned as the top offensive player.

By using XBHs to sort the ROY candidates, I neglect those rookies whose relatively recent recall has not allowed them to accumulate enough ABs to get enough XBHs. Amongst those who could be in the thick of either leagues ROy discussion by year's end are the Royals' Billy Butler, the Braves Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Dodgers' James Loney and the White Sox' Josh Fields

Who is the early favorite to win the MLB Rookie Hitter of the Year? Vote in the poll on the home page.

PLAYER TEAM AB R XBH HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG CR
Hunter Pence HOU 275 39 40 11 42 7 10 52 0.342 0.367 0.589 81.1%
Chris B. Young ARI 288 38 29 13 31 9 15 54 0.233 0.277 0.427 81.3%
Delmon Young TAM 345 40 28 9 48 6 14 72 0.278 0.308 0.412 79.1%
Ryan Braun MIL 163 36 27 11 32 8 11 37 0.350 0.391 0.663 77.3%
Josh Hamilton CIN 208 37 26 14 30 3 28 50 0.279 0.371 0.543 76.0%
Troy Tulowitzki COL 315 50 25 9 38 5 32 69 0.286 0.358 0.432 78.1%
Dustin Pedroia BOS 242 34 25 3 25 1 30 22 0.318 0.400 0.450 90.9%
Alex Gordon KAN 293 34 23 6 28 9 27 73 0.232 0.321 0.358 75.1%
Kevin Kouzmanoff SDG 232 23 21 7 37 0 19 57 0.228 0.290 0.384 75.4%
Travis Buck OAK 180 29 21 6 20 1 29 42 0.283 0.385 0.489 76.7%
Mark Reynolds ARI 147 24 21 6 23 0 14 42 0.272 0.337 0.517 71.4%
Adam Lind TOR 235 24 20 8 30 1 14 53 0.230 0.274 0.383 77.4%
Carlos Ruiz PHI 202 24 20 3 29 2 16 30 0.272 0.329 0.401 85.1%
Akinori Iwamura TAM 195 37 18 3 12 8 28 43 0.292 0.379 0.436 77.9%
Mike Fontenot CHC 104 19 14 3 16 2 4 14 0.356 0.376 0.577 86.5%
Reggie Willits LAA 231 39 12 0 25 18 40 39 0.312 0.408 0.368 83.1%