Is Walker a Rookie of the Year candidate?

July 11, 2010- Milwaukee, WI. Miller Park..Pittsburgh Pirates Neil Walker  gets ready for the next pitch, Walker was hitless at the plate today..Milwaukee Brewers won over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5, sweeping the pirates in a three game series at Miller Park..Mike McGinnis / CSM.

Neil Walker - ZumaPress (Mike McGinnis/CSM)

By continuing to hit baseballs very hard, Neil Walker has made a case for some Rookie of the Year consideration. When FanHouse baseball writer Ed Price posted the following on his Twitter feed this afternoon, I thought it might be a good idea to take a closer look at Walker’s chances.

 

#Pirates Neil Walker. RT @ed_price: What NL rookie has higher BA and SLG than Heyward, more TB than Posey and more RBI than Stanton?Mon Sep 06 14:54:34 via TweetDeck

 

Those are some very interesting numbers, but they are mostly cherry-picked stats. Let’s take an overall look at each of the four players, along with some other notable National League rookies.

 

Position Players PA wOBA WAR
Neil Walker 356 0.364 1.8
Jason Heyward 511 0.378 3.7
Buster Posey 342 0.377 3.1
Mike Stanton 290 0.335 1.2
Starlin Castro 432 0.342 2.3
Gaby Sanchez 547 0.359 2.7
Jose Tabata 335 0.347 2.1

 

Pitchers IP ERA FIP WAR
Mike Leake 138.1 4.23 4.70 1.2
Jaime Garcia 153.1 2.35 3.39 3.1

 

Walker, as well as Jose Tabata, should certainly be in the Rookie of the Year conversation, but there are much better options outside of Pittsburgh. At this point, it looks like a three-way race between Jason Heyward, Buster Posey and Jaime Garcia. That should not diminish what Walker and Tabata have accomplished in their rookie seasons. They have been very good, two bright spots in an otherwise dark Pirates season. Unfortunately, the National League has boasted a very strong rookie class this season.

EDIT: Just as I finished up this article, Tabata singled and Walker homered to give the Pirates a 3-1 lead in the 6th inning. Love it.

 

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