Beckham in the Thick of AL “Rookie of the Year” Race

The list is certainly impressive.

Minnie Minoso, Luis Aparicio, Gary Peters, Pete Ward, Tommie Agee, Carlos May, Britt Burns, Ron Kittle and Ozzie Guillen comprise the honor roll of Sox players who have been named American League Rookie of the Year by either the Baseball Writers’ Association of America or The Sporting News.

If Sox fans controlled the voting, Gordon Beckham would unanimously join this illustrious group in ’09 and claim the team’s first rookie award since Ozzie in 1985. He has been nothing short of spectacular since being called up from Charlotte on June 4, and he’s got my support, but as good as Beckham has been he’s not a shoo-in.

As I see it, it’s a six-player race with outfielder Nolan Reimold of the Orioles, A’s closer Andrew Bailey, Tigers hurler Rick Porcello, Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero and the Rays’ Jeff Niemann rounding out my top candidates.

Here’s the comparison:

* Beckham:  In 86 games he has knocked out 87 hits, including 11 homers and 25 doubles, scored 48 runs, driven in 53 and sports a .279 batting average with an on-base percentage of .353.

* Reimold:  In 103 games he has knocked out 99 hits, including 15 homers and 18 doubles, scored 49 runs, driven in 45 and sports a .279 batting average with an on-base percentage of .365.

* Bailey:  He has compiled a 6-3 record with a 2.03 earned run average and 24 saves. He also has struck out 81 while walking only 23.

* Romero: The talented lefty has bolstered the Jays’ staff with his 12-8 record. 4.22 ERA. In 153.2 innings he has struck out 119 and given up just 68 bases on balls.

* Porcello: He is 13-8 with a 4.21 ERA and has struck out 78 while walking 45 for the AL Central-leading Tigers.

* Niemann
: He has compiled a 12-5 mark with a 3.57 ERA and has K’d 106 while walking only 50. 

For us Beckham boosters, who have seen the gifted one play every day, it’s a closer competition than we’d like. But here’s hoping that Pale Hose justice prevails.                     

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