clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Taylor Jungmann probably has no chance of winning NL Rookie of the Year

New, comments

Jungmann has been having a phenomenal rookie campaign, but competition is too fierce in the voting.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Jungmann had a bad night on Tuesday against the Marlins. No doubt about that: 3.2 innings pitched and six earned runs isn't good at all.

But, that's really his first exceptionally bad start. His 17th outing was just the third time he gave up more than even two earned runs. The first time came in his third start, when he allowed four runs in six innings on eight hits and a walk to the Rockies. The second came a couple weeks ago when the Nationals posted five runs over four innings against the right-hander.

In 82 percent of his starts this year, though, Jungmann has not allowed more than two earned runs. Clayton Kershaw last year gave up fewer than three earned runs in 74 percent of his starts. Pedro Martinez in 2000 had a 76 percent rate in the same stat.

Don't get me wrong: That's a pretty much cherry-picked, made-up statistic and absolutely doesn't mean that Jungmann is on the level of a Kershaw or, certainly, a Martinez. Jungmann has been very, very good, but he doesn't blow hitters away like those two and he has just 17 starts in the majors under his belt. What I mean for that stat to show is more just how consistently good Jungmann has been over his first campaign in the big leagues.

Taylor Jungmann, though, picked a bad year to be called up if he hoped to win a Rookie of the Year award. Because for as good as he has been -- 2.87 ERA, 89 K and 36 walks in just over 100 innings -- he hasn't been good enough to win that title.

Here's some of the competition that Jungmann has against him:

Pitcher Starts Innings K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA FIP fWAR
Anthony DeSclafani (Reds) 27 163 7.01 2.87 0.83 3.75 3.81 2.6
Noah Syndergaard (Mets) 20 122.1 9.49 2.13 1.10 3.31 3.39 2.4
Taylor Jungmann (Brewers) 16 100.1 8.01 3.24 0.45 2.87 3.04 2.4
Robbie Ray (Diamondbacks) 18 101.2 8.41 3.36 0.62 3.72 3.42

1.7

Batter Games AVG OBP SLG HR Runs RBI Steals wOBA fWAR
Kris Bryant (Cubs) 127 .267 .367 .485 23 77 86 12 .368 5.2
Matt Duffy (Giants) 125 .302 .340 .442 10 62 65 8 .339 3.9
Jung-Ho Kang (Pirates) 117 .286 .358 .454 13 53 51 5 .355 3.7
Joc Pederson 130 .215 .359 .433 24 61 50 3 .347 3.0

And those lists aren't including guys like Odubel Herrera, Addison Russell, Randal Grichuk, Jake Lamb, Michael Taylor, Chris Heston, and the numerous other rookies in the National League all having very good campaigns.

Here is a very simple truth in baseball this year: Kris Bryant is going to win the NL Rookie of the Year, and it isn't going to be close. Bryant has some things going for him that can't be beat: He's leading the Cubs to the playoffs after several years of Chicago being bad and he's coming off some of the biggest hype for a prospect since Bryce Harper. Those put him in the forefront of voters minds pretty handily.

Bryant also has one more thing going for him: He has been, pretty clearly, the best rookie in baseball this year. I mean, those numbers are fantastic, especially for a rookie. He came in with a ton of hype, and he's lived up to it. No hitter is going to touch him this year, the only thing that could is if a pitcher convinced voters they were more valuable.

Jungmann might not even have the best shot in that case. Syndergaard is the flashier name, and has the better strikeout and walk numbers. He's also helping bring the Mets to the playoffs and was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He's a bigger name, and that helps with things like this. Jungmann's ERA stands out, but that's not enough.

In another year, Jungmann might have been ROY in the NL. Not this year, though. He maybe could have gone toe-to-toe with Jacob deGrom last year. He wouldn't have won in 2013, when Jose Fernandez claimed the title. Bryce Harper's name value would have been tough to beat in 2012. In 2011, though, Jungmann's numbers could have held up well when Craig Kimbrel won Rookie of the Year. But Jungmann didn't come up then -- he was ready in 2015 and you only get one shot at the Rookie of the Year award. Jungmann, unfortunately, got a bit unlucky with his timing.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter really. It's just a trophy (which I'm sure Jungmann wouldn't mind having). Him not winning doesn't mean that his year hasn't been as good as it has. The important thing is that Jungmann has put himself in a position where this thought process all has some merit because he's had that good of a season.

A couple of years ago -- heck, maybe last year -- the Brewers 2011 draft was criticized pretty heavily and Jungmann was a part of that discussion. There's merit to it; the Brewers could have had Jose Fernandez or Sonny Gray or Kolten Wong or Blake Swihart or Jackie Bradley or Tyler Beede or whoever. This year, though, Jungmann is making that draft look a bit better for the Brewers.

In all likelihood, Jungmann isn't going to be an ace pitcher in the long run. He won't be quite as good as he's looked for much of 2015. He is proving he'll be a very useful player though, and he's having an absolutely fantastic season. And that deserves to be recognized, even if he won't get an award for it.