Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was named the NL Rookie of the Year today, and I was among the 32 members of the BBWAA who served on the voting committee.
My ballot reflected the final tally: 1. Harper, 2. Arizona left-hander Wade Miley, 3. Cincinnati Reds infielderoutfielder Todd Frazier.
The outcome shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Harper was the most celebrated rookie in the league -- one of the most hyped phenoms of all time -- and he had the best statistical season. This was the stat that stood out to me as I did my research: Despite being called up April 28, he still managed to score 98 runs -- fifth best in the NL and two better than Atlanta's Michael Bourn, one of the game's most respected leadoff men, who had over 100 more plate appearances.
If anything, I was surprised that Harper only received 16 first-place votes. Miley received 12 first-place votes and nearly won in an upset, finishing with 105 points to 112 for Harper. The only player to appear on all 32 ballots was Harper; Miley appeared on 31.
Frazier received three first-place votes, and in the "losing credibility" category, someone who probably never saw Wilin Rosario play defense gave a first-place vote to the Rockies catcher.
I thought about putting Rosario third on my ballot after he led all rookies with 28 home runs and an .843 OPS, but Frazier was a much more well rounded performer and he made a huge contribution to a Cincinnati club that took control of the NL Central even after losing former MVP Joey Votto for a chunk of the second half.
(Jack Etkin, who has covered the Rockies since their inception, omitted Rosario but had Rockies first baseman Jordan Pacheco on his ballot. That should tell you something.)
Miley was a solid second choice for me and he would've been a worthy ROY in many other seasons. I can't really fathom how 12 voters thought he had a better season that Harper did, though. (Maybe some voters don't like excessive eye black or to be called on the carpet when they ask a clown question.)
Anyway ... in the end, the right guy won. And Harper is going to be a force in this game for a long, long time.