As far as rookie pitchers go, Yu Darvish was the class of the American League in 2012. He had 16 wins, a 3.90 ERA in 29 starts (191 1/3 innings) and solidified himself as the top hurler in the Texas Rangers' rotation.
And that won't be enough to win AL Rookie of the Year. Blame that on Los Angeles Angels phenom Mike Trout, who should be a unanimous winner of the award (given out by the Baseball Writers' Association of America) when it's announced as part of a one-hour show starting at 5 p.m. CT on MLB Network.
But that doesn't mean all the suspense is gone. I'm curious who finishes second. Darvish is in a battle with Oakland A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes for that honor. Cespedes hit .292 with 23 homers and 82 RBIs for a team that managed to catch the Rangers and win the AL West despite being five games back with nine to play. He played 129 games and had a .861 OPS. Both Darvish and Cespedes can make good cases for earning that runner-up spot. Of course, finishing second won't get you any awards. But it is interesting just to see how the voters determined those final spots. We'll find out tonight.
By the way, the AL MVP Award will be announced Thursday and two of the five finalists are Rangers: Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton. We know they're in the top-5, but the order will come out Thursday -- and we'll see if Trout has enough stats to convince voters to go with him over Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown.