Welcome to my second Fantasy Baseball column of the 2018 season! Last time I looked at the American League Rookie of the Year candidates.
In this article, I’m going to look at some choices for 2018 National League Rookie of the Year(ROY). Most of these players you will see at the start of the season. Some may be called up halfway, and a couple are longshots but deserve to be mentioned. Because in baseball, you are one injury away from relevance.
Without further ado, let’s look at the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year candidates!
National League Candidates
Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves
2017 stats: .325/.374/.522, 31 2B, 8 3B, 21 HR, 82 RBI, 43 BB, 144 K, 44 SB at A+ Florida/Double-A Mississippi/Triple-A Gwinnett
The Braves young phenom turned 20 years-old in December. Everyone is waiting and wondering if he can continue to crush pitching as he gets to the bigs. In his meteoric rise through the minors, he slashed .325/.374/.522 and hit 21 home runs in 139 games. The 144 strikeouts are a bit concerning, striking out almost a quarter of the time.
But remember, he was just a teenager. Now he looks to be a staple in the NL East for years to come. And he will be battling with another guy later on in this list for the best rookie outfielder.
Jack Flaherty, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
2017 stats: 5 GS, 0-2 W-L, 6.33 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 23 H, 10 BB, 20 K at St. Louis
Jack Flaherty has been a steady riser in the Cardinals system. While he hit some bumps at the major league level, what he showed in the minors is promising. In 25 games started in Doube-A and Triple-A, Flaherty had a 14-8 record, a 2.18 ERA and almost a strikeout per inning. Look for Flaherty to build from his time with St. Louis last year.
With Alex Reyes coming back from Tommy John surgery, Flaherty could see himself at the back end of the rotation to start the season.
Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals
2017 stats: .250/.308/.458, 1 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 SB at Washington
Meet the kid who will be battling Acuna for NL East supremacy when he breaks onto the Nationals Roster. His name is Victor Robles. He made his way onto the Nationals NLDS roster, but with Adam Eaton returning to leftfield, Michael Taylor in centerfield and a guy named Bryce Harper in right, he may not be up right away.
Now, if Eaton were to get injured again, or Taylor doesn’t build off a good 2017, Robles could be up sooner rather than later. Whenever he makes his way into the majors, watching him and Acuna compete will be a gift to everyone who loves baseball.
Lewis Brinson, OF, Miami Marlins
2017 stats: .106/.236/.277, 0 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 7 BB, 17 K, 1 SB at Milwaukee
After struggling in his big league debut, Lewis Brinson was traded to the Miami Marlins, along with 3 other prospects, for Christian Yelich. In a crowded Brewers outfield, Brinson should get regular at-bats for a Marlins team that has been stripped down to the studs.
In his time at Triple-A Colorado Springs, Brinson slashed .331/.400/.562 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 76 games played. So all is not lost, and with the Marlins tanking, he should get all of the playing time he can handle.
Walker Buehler, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
2017 stats: 0 GS, 1-0 W-L, 7.71 ERA, 2.04 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 11 H, 8 BB, 12 K at Los Angeles
Walker Buehler made his big league debut a little over a year after having Tommy John surgery in August 2016. While the record and his ERA look bad, the 12 Ks in 9.1 innings is a bright spot. In 88.2 across three minor league levels, Buehler had a 3-3 record, a 3.45 ERA, and 12.7 K:9.
While the Dodgers have a loaded rotation, Buehler could still be a weapon out of the pen to start the season. It is always nice to have pitching around in case someone were to be lost because of injury.
So there are the National League candidates for Rookies of the Year for the 2018 Fantasy Baseball season. Check back soon for more articles to help you through the baseball offseason.
- 2018 Fantasy Baseball Rookie of the Year: National League Candidates - February 10, 2018
- 2018 Fantasy Baseball Rookie of the Year: American League Candidates - February 7, 2018
- Week 26 Bullpen Briefs: Getting The Royal Treatment - September 28, 2017