Rookie of the Year ballots are often some of the more interesting ballots because defining what it means to be the league's best rookie is far more complicated than determining what "Most Valuable Player" and "Cy Young" mean. The question largely centers on how much you want to consider playing time as a factor compared to how well the player performed while they were on the field. Unlike with MVP and Cy Young voting, rookies aren't necessarily supposed to play every day. That openness in interpretation leaves us with some leeway in deciding who the winners are, but very few of our writers seemed to notice. We have spirited debates about baseball quite often, but with respect to these two awards, it was nearly unanimous.
American League Rookie of the Year
Sixteen Beyond The Box Score writers voted on the six major awards and only one of us put anyone other than Tampa Bay's Wil Myers in the top spot. It wasn't a banner year for AL rookies, but Myers likely would have earned the award in a reasonably competitive year (read: one that doesn't include Mike Trout).
Myers hit .293/.354/.478 in 373 plate appearances for the Rays while putting up a 131 wRC+ and 2.4 fWAR. Myers struck out more than 24% of the time and walked to first in just under 9% of his PA. In a small sampling of innings, UZR rated him slightly above average at 1.1 and DRS considered him slightly below average at -3, suggesting he performed near league average for a corner outfielder during the 2013 season even if that doesn't tell us a whole lot about him going forward.
Wil Myers will probably be best known for his inclusion in a controversial offseason trade for the next few seasons, but he can also add this feather into his cap.
National League Rookie of the Year
Much like the AL ROY, our writers had very little difficulty coming to a consensus about the senior circuit's best first year player. With apologies to Yasiel Puig, Jose Fernandez ran away with this one.
Most questioned the Marlins' decision to start Fernandez in the majors due to service time concerns, but they apparently knew he was too good to keep in the minors. In 172.2 innings, he posted a 2.19 ERA, 2.73 FIP, 3.08 xFIP, and 4.2 fWAR. His 27.5% strikeout rate, 0.98 WHIP, and 5.7 RA9-WAR all jump off the page as well.
Fernandez wasn't just a great rookie in 2013, he was one of the league's best starting pitchers period. Later this week we'll reveal the Cy Young ballots and Fernandez will figure prominently in that discussion as well. Not only did he have a great season, but if you're scouting him beyond the results there is a whole lot to like as well.
Complete Rookie of the Year Balloting:
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All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.
Neil Weinberg is a writer and editor at Beyond The Box Score, contributor to Gammons Daily, and can also be found writing enthusiastically about the Detroit Tigers at New English D. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter at @NeilWeinberg44.