It has become clear that the National League is the weaker of the two when it comes to Rookie of the Year candidates, at least as far as the number of potential winners is concerned. While there may not be a large number of rookies putting up numbers worthy of attention, the National League still does have exciting young players competing to win the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year.
Possibly one of the most exciting young players in baseball right now is Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds. The unique thing about him is he brings fans to the edge of their seats with one asset: his speed. Hamilton has yet to fully develop into a major league hitter, something that will take some time. What he already can do though is steal bases. Once Hamilton does get on base he is an immediate threat to swipe a base or two. If he is going to win the Rookie of the Year though, he will have to do it based on his stolen base numbers alone which may not be enough.
Shortstop Chris Owings has the unfortunate chance to play for a struggling Arizona Diamondbacks team. Thankfully things can only get better. The team has a lot of faith in him and will allow him every chance to improve. Right now Owings has been an average at best player. Once the Arizona heat arrives there’s no telling what he may be able to do. In 2013 he hit .330 at AAA. The potential is there it’s just a matter if Owings can get close to it in 2014.
Finally in June of 2014 top prospect Oscar Taveras got the call from the St. Louis Cardinals to join the team when Matt Adams went down with an injury. In his first game Taveras hit a home run. As the top prospect he is a very likely candidate to win Rookie of the Year even with his delayed start. Taveras could be a once in a generation player. Even if 2014 doesn’t turn out to be Rookie of the Year worthy, expect him to play hard and come back in 2015 strong.
Teammate of Oscar Taveras, Kolten Wong’s expectations are so high they managed to push Matt Carpenter over to third base to make some room. He has not exactly lit the world on fire just yet, but the young second baseman has outgrown AAA and will now be given a chance to excel at the major league level. Wong would become another guy to get on base for the team’s power hitters to drive in. He has speed too and is an above average fielder. The little competition in the National League for Rookie of the Year, it won’t take much for this Hawaiian born future star to win the hardware.
More from this contributor:
Who Will Win the 2014 American League Rookie of the Year?
The Worst Rookie of the Year Winning Seasons
The Best Rookie of the Year Combinations Since 2000
Five Exciting Rookies to Watch in the 2014 MLB Season