NL Rookie: Uggla or Ramirez

The NL Rookie of the Year is a toss-up between a pair of Marlins, shortstop Hanley Ramirez and second baseman Dan Uggla, writes Rob Neyer.

Originally Published: September 22, 2006
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
There seems to be a consensus surrounding most of the major awards. Derek Jeter, Johan Santana, Justin Verlander, Albert Pujols, Brandon Webb ... nothing's in stone, except Santana. And if I'm not right about those, I'm close. National League Rookie of the Year, though? Not only have I not noticed any consensus but I haven't noticed anything, perhaps because nobody has been able to separate all the candidates yet.

So let's try. You know, for the kids.

When it comes to pitchers, there are three statistics voters will notice first: wins, earned-run average and saves. Let's first dispense with the last of those. Only one National League rookie has more than five saves: the Dodgers' Takashi Saito, who has 19. Saito also has a 2.28 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 71 innings. By one measure -- Baseball Prospectus' ARP (adjusted runs prevented) -- he has saved more runs than any National League reliever save Cla Meredith. It's all quite impressive, and it might be enough to garner significant support from the voters in a year lacking other strong candidates.


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