SportsNation Blog Archives John Axford
Maybe this is the "Year of the Pitcher" in Major League Baseball, but this week has offered its fair share of evidence pointing to another theme. At least until the Phillies traded for Roy Oswalt, the week's bggest pitching story was Stephen Strasburg's trip to the DL. The big Phillies news prior to the trade might have been Domonic Brown hitting a home run in his first game -- the same night Atlanta's Jason Heyward stole home against the Nationals.
Could this actually be the Year of the Rookie?
John Wall's performance in NBA summer ball receives detailed analysis. Sam Bradford's contract talks with the Rams is the subject of daily updates. Neftali Feliz's progress? Well, he probably has more name recognition in Dallas than Cowboys fifth-round pick DeAngelo Smith. Maybe. Actually, don't quote us on that.
Most of the time, even the best baseball rookies are hardly household names right away. In some cases (Jerome Walton, Marty Cordova and Bobby Crosby spring to mind), they stay that way even after winning Rookie of the Year. But as the news of the week suggests, and Jayson Stark pointed out in a recent chat, this year's class has a chance to be different.
Does Posey have a chance at the ROY? Has his power surprised you this early in his career?
Absolutely. Buster Posey is the real deal. In my midseason awards column, I gave Jaime Garcia the midseason ROY award. But a lot can change in the second half, with Jason Heyward coming back, Stephen Strasburg going out there every five days, Posey raking and one of the great rookie classes of recent times. If I were Jaime, I don't think I'd reserve a spot on my shelf for that trophy just yet. Full July 9 transcript