Cardinals’ Randal Grichuk deserves NL Rookie of the Year consideration

Updated: July 26, 2015
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Since the beginning of March, we’ve had to hear about Kris Bryant, the future superstar third baseman in Chicago. Then, out of left field, a somewhat well-known prospect in Los Angeles appears to challenge him for the ever-coveted NL Rookie of the Year award, and it seemed like they had run away with the competition, leaving everyone else in the dust.

For months, we watched Bryant and Joc Pederson show impressive plate discipline, climb the MLB leaderboard in OBP, all while mashing monster home runs. In fact, Pederson quickly made his name known after crushing 38 home runs in the 2015 Home Run Derby over All-Star Weekend.

If you missed it, I send my condolences. However, the really impressive statistics come from regular season action, where Pederson is second among all rookies in OBP, just behind Bryant, and sits first among all rookies in home runs (20), which is seven ahead of Bryant. On top of that, he’s fourth among all National League hitters in walks and also fourth among all National League center fielders in assists.

I could sit here and list statistic after statistic about why Pederson has the clear lead in the race for the award at the moment, but I’ll spare you. Instead, let’s focus on St. Louis Cardinals‘ Randal Grichuk and the statistics posted over the last month.

Over the last 30 days, Grichuk has arguably been the most impressive rookie in the National League. Not only has he helped the Cardinals achieve a 37-22 record since he received an everyday starting role on May 16, but he’s also achieved a .366 OBP during the last month, leads National League rookies in home runs and RBI, and has been the second most consistent hitter to Matt Duffy, who’s sported a .327 batting average over the last month. It feels like I can’t look at my phone without seeing a notification about the Cardinals winning another game.

If I had to put out a current “top five” regarding the leading NL Rookie of the Year candidates, it’d look like this:

  1. Joc Pederson
  2. Kris Bryant
  3. Randal Grichuk
  4. Matt Duffy
  5. Chris Heston

If I were ranking these prospects at the beginning of the year, Grichuk wouldn’t even be on the list, but that’s the point. His presence and impact with the Cardinals so far is too impressive to ignore. He’s essentially moved from an “unknown” prospect, to a top-five candidate in the NL Rookie of the Year race in just two month’s time. Regardless of where we’re at now in the race, it’s going to be a fun next couple of months.

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