As the regular season is coming to an end, who do you think is going to win the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year?
The 23-year old rookie recently broke the Cubs franchise's rookie RBI record of 86 set by Billy Williams (1961) and Geovany Soto (2008). After hitting .168 in July, people thought he was going to be another Pederson. But he lived up to the hype he built at the beginning of the season and hit .331 in August and is currently hitting .333 in September. He is also ranked second in rookie home runs behind Pederson who has hit 25 home runs.
His stats at first sight may seem inferior to that of Bryant's. But one has to consider the fact that Duffy plays in AT&T Park, which is known to be a pitcher's ballpark. Also both play third base and Duffy has displayed much better defense than Bryant. According to Baseball Reference, Bryant's dWAR (Defensive Wins Above Replacement) is -0.1 while Duffy's dWAR is 0.8. Duffy also has struck out much less than Bryant (Bryant struck out 175 times while Duffy struck out 83 times).
Then we have Jung Ho Kang, the veteran from South Korea. Kang, who was a part-time player in April, stepped up when his team needed him the most, filling in for Mercer at short and Harrison at third. He has now become a regular starting member for the Bucs. Kang also won rookie of the month in July, batting .379. Although his numbers fall short compared to that of Bryant and Duffy, he ranks second in WAR for NL rookies. One thing that will certainly hold him back is the fact that he is not a true rookie, having played seven full seasons in Korea. We have previously seen international rookies with professional experience outside of the MLB win the ROY award (Ichiro Suzuki, Jose Abreu), so let's see what happens.
We also have Noah Syndergaard, Randal Grichuk, Chris Heston, and Joc Pederson in the race to clinch the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year.