I've been watching baseball for a long time now, and I must say that there hasn't been a rookie that I can remember that has consistently surprised me as much as Bryce Harper has. 39 games into his professional career, the 19-year-old has seamlessly transitioned into the lineup of a first place team, played everyday, at multiple positions, and has carried himself like a aged veteran.
He is currently on pace to have one of the better seasons ever produced by a teenager, which is quite a statement considering the company that compiles that list. There's no question it's a great start to what will hopefully be an amazing career in Washington, but how does the kid, who should have just graduated high school, compare in the National League Rookie of the Year race?
These appear to be the top NL ROY candidates:
Bryce Harper, Nationals - .295/.381/.527, 6 HR, 29 R, 19-years-old
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mets - .286/.349/.388, 3 HR, 32 R, 24-years-old
Todd Frazier, Reds - .275/.328/.596, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 26-years-old
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals - .288/.356/.519, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 26-years-old
Lance Lynn, Cardinals - 9-2, 2.66 ERA, 74 K in 74 IP, 25-years-old
Wade Miley, Diamondbacks - 7-2, 2.53 ERA, 41K in 67.2 IP, 25-years-old
It appears there is some pretty good competition for the award so far this season. The two pitchers, Lynn and Miley, have been tremendous and if they keep up their pace it may be hard to not give the award to one of them. A 20-game winning rookie is hard to come by.
Among the hitters, Harper appears to have an edge with his overall ability to hit for average, get on base, and hit for power. He is also easily the biggest star on this list, and starpower does play a large part in the ROY voting, as stupid as that may be.