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Angels' Mike Trout is just one of many outstanding young players

List of newcomers who are impressing include Southland pitchers Tommy Malone of the Oakland Athletics and Jared Hughes of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

June 30, 2012|By Mike Hiserman
  • Mike Trout slides into home and scores in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles.
Mike Trout slides into home and scores in the third inning against the Baltimore… (Greg Fiume / Getty Images )

Mike Trout's full value to the Angels isn't shown in his .342 batting average, eight home runs, 32 runs batted in, 22 stolen bases in 25 tries (through Friday) or even his stellar defense. It's shown in the Angels' major league-best win-loss record since he was added to the roster April 28.

Trout is a leading contender for rookie of the year in the American League. Deputy Sports Editor Mike Hiserman takes a look at other top rookies, listed in alphabetical order:

American League

Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland; 26; OF; Had walk-off three-run home run to beat Dodgers 10 days ago. Batting .284 with nine home runs and 35 runs batted in, but strikes out out 25% of the time.

Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore; 26; LHP; 7-4 record, 3.73 earned-run average; beat Texas and New York Yankees in consecutive starts in May, giving up 10 hits and three runs in a combined 142/3 innings.

Ryan Cook, Oakland; 25; RHP; Has been scored on in only one of last 12 relief appearances, giving up six hits with 16 strikeouts in 10 innings. Overall: 2-2 record, 1.59 ERA, six of nine in saves opportunities.

Yu Darvish, Texas; 25; RHP; Former Japanese pro has been as good as advertised. Has 10-4 record, 3.57 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 952/3 innings. Opponents are batting a measly .228 against him.

Tommy Milone, Oakland; 25; LHP; Former Saugus High and USC workhorse has been Athletics' ace with 8-5 record, 3.83 ERA. In two most recent starts — versus Dodgers and Seattle — gave up one earned run in 16 innings.

Will Middlebrooks, Boston; 23; 3B; Has knocked in 12 runs in his last 10 games. Overall, is batting .310 with 10 home runs, 37 RBIs.

Matt Moore, Tampa Bay; 23; LHP; Has 4-5 record with 4.19 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 88 innings.

Jarrod Parker, Oakland; 23; RHP; Has 4-3 record with 2.57 ERA. Has given up only 53 hits in 73 2/3 innings, with opponents batting .205 against him.

Addison Reed, Chicago; 23; RHP; Advanced from rookie league at end of 2010 to big leagues at end of last season. Has a 1-1 record, 4.18 ERA and 11 saves in 12 opportunities.

National League

Yonder Alonso, San Diego; 25; 1B; Acquired from Cincinnati in a deal for Mat Latos, he looks better at the plate than his numbers — two home runs and 18 RBIs while batting .259 — indicate.

Norichika Aoki, Milwaukee; 30; OF; Had a 200-hit season in Japan and is off to a solid start, batting .289 with four home runs, 14 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 13 tries.

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis; 26; 1B; With Albert Pujols gone and Lance Berkman out because of a knee injury, has cashed in on his chance. Batting .293 with three home runs and 21 RBIs in 123 at-bats.

Zack Cozart, Cincinnati; 26; SS; A top-flight fielder, is batting a respectable .246 and has shown some power, with eight home runs.

Bryce Harper, Washington; 19; OF; Hot early on, has swooned lately, batting only .219 starting with a five-strikeout game against the New York Mets on June 16. Overall: .280, eight home runs, 22 RBIs.

Lucas Harrell, Houston, 27, RHP; Blanked Colorado on three hits over seven innings in his season debut. Overall: 7-6 record, 4.33 ERA.

Jared Hughes, Pittsburgh; 26; RHP; Former Santa Margarita High and Long Beach State player is 2-0 with 2.39 ERA, giving up 32 hits in 372/3 innings of relief.

Wade Miley, Arizona; 25; LHP; Has given up only one run in each of his lasts four starts, surrendering only 18 hits in 302/3 innings over that span. Overall: 9-3 record, 2.19 ERA and 73 hits in 901/3 innings.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, New York; 24; OF; In only a few more at-bats than the much-celebrated Harper, this former Azusa Pacific star has similar numbers: .271 average, seven home runs, 25 RBIs.

Jordan Pacheco, Colorado; 26; 3B/1B; A project defensively at third base, he's a good-looking hitter. Batting .301 with only 23 strikeouts in 176 at-bats.

Wilin Rosario, Colorado; 23; C; Batting only .246, but has 34 RBIs and leads all rookies with 12 home runs. Has thrown out 10 of 33 runners trying to steal.

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