Chris Coghlan is finally getting some national exposure in the National League Rookie of the Year Race.
Ken Rosenthal has this to say: Coghlan should win NL ROY after big second half
Coghlan, 24, is third in the N.L. in batting with a .376 average since the All-Star break. He has a higher on-base/slugging percentage than Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen and Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler, the latter of whom has not played since Aug. 24 because of a bruised right knee. Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee is closer to Coghlan in OPS but has nearly 150 fewer plate appearances.
To which Rob Neyer retorted in his post: Ranking NL's top rookies
For example, I had no idea how well Coghlan's been playing. Last time I checked -- back in June, probably -- he was just sort of sputtering along with no talk of any award, and now he's the best Rookie of the Year candidate in the league, with a .310/.382/.448 line that's easily the best among the three qualifying rookies (Fowler and Colby Rasmus being the others). That said, McCutchen's right behind Coghlan, OPS- and PA-wise, and he's got more doubles, more triples, and more home runs. Oh, and he's also far more valuable with the glove.
So among the hitters, McCutchen's actually the guy.
Neyer is using season totals for his ranking whereas Rosenthal is using since the All-Star break. So the methodology is different and leads the author to different conclusions. But one thing of note is both think the winner for the award this year should be a position player.
Okay, let's look at their season stats.
|2009 - Chris Coghlan||103||397||65||123||20||4||9||40||46||68||6||2||.310||.382||.448|
|2009 - Andrew McCutchen||83||333||57||93||20||6||11||45||40||63||16||4||.279||.357||.474|
All I can tell is he is basing giving the McCutchen the nod due to him being a better defender at this point in their respective careers. And Mr. Neyer has the right to value defense highly in his selection and use it as the tie-breaker.
But one could argue that being only the second rookie in the last 60 years to record at least 47 hits in a month should count for something. Also Coghlan has been important part of the Marlins making a playoff run. And while I'm sure McCutchen did his best trying to help the Pirates avoid their 17-straight losing season, it didn't happen.
There are still 25 games left so it may be too early to breakout all the arguments. But I guess the most important part of all of this is: Chris Coghlan is starting to get national attention from the sports writters. And that is a good thing.