COMMENTARY | A season ago, the American League Rookie of the Year award was easy to decide. Los Angeles Angels phenom Mike Trout was called up and immediately set Major League Baseball on fire en route to finishing second in the AL Most Valuable Player award voting behind Miguel Cabrera.
Obviously, Trout can't repeat his feat from a season ago, so that begs the question of who could win the award in 2013.
As of now, there hasn't been a talent similar to Trout (or even the Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig) that could run away with the award in the AL. That has opened the door to some lesser known prospects including Oswaldo Arcia of the Minnesota Twins.
Arcia is far from a household name, but his bat is starting to generate some conversation. On the season, the 22-year-old Venezuelan is hitting .271 for the Twins after a June 23 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
It's an impressive line that gets better as Arcia leads all American League rookies with six home runs and 21 RBI after beginning the season at Triple-A Rochester.
The 41st-ranked prospect by Baseball America heading into 2013, Arcia answered the call for a team that had few solid prospects in their organization a season ago.
He hit .320 with 17 home runs and 98 RBI between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain and was rewarded with his major league debut on April 15.
That talent has translated to the major leagues as Arcia has been able to produce offensively while adapting to his new surroundings.
The most recent development has been the addition of patience to his arsenal that hasn't shown up in the walk column, but is evident as he's worked the count in his at-bats. The result has been a staggering .910 OPS in his recent 12-game stint with the team.
Being at the top of the board in most offensive categories among rookies helps, but so has manager Ron Gardenhire's willingness to play him everyday. The result has been an improving player that some scouts say could be a young Bobby Abreu.
It's too early to say whether Arcia will become the first Twin to win the ROY award since Marty Cordova in 1995, but he has a nice shot if he continues to improve with no other rookie separating from the pack.
Chris Schad is a lifelong Twins follower that has spent a majority of his life cheering the Twins on through the dark '90s and success of five American League Central championships in the 2000s. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.
- Sports & Recreation
- Major League Baseball
- Mike Trout
- Los Angeles Dodgers