With all that has gone wrong for the Arizona Diamondbacks this season with the pitching rotation, Wade Miley has been a blessing. Ian Kennedy has struggled, Daniel Hudson went down for the year and Trevor Cahill has been inconsistent. Wade Miley came out of nowhere and became the staff ace.
He was Rookie of the Month in April and made the All-Star team as the only representative of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
At 12-6 with a sub-3.00 ERA, could Miley be a contender or even a favorite in the Rookie of the Year race?
Of all the possible choices, which include the very popular Bryce Harper, Cincinnati's Todd Frazier and Milwaukee's Michael Fiers, Miley kills them with his WAR stat (wins above replacement, a pretty solid overall stat that gauges the value of the player -- how many more wins is that player worth over the guy to replace him). Miley sits at 3.0, while Fiers is next at 2.75.
At this point, it would seem to be Miley's award to lose, based on WAR. He has thrown more innings than any contender bar Houston's Lucas Harrell, and the results have been much better, even playing in a hitters' park like Chase. I have been impressed by the numbers put up by Fiers, however: if he can maintain that level of performance over another dozen or so starts, he could well be in the running. When Dontrelle Willis won Rookie of the Year in 2003, he did so with only 160.2 innings of work, and Fiers should end up with approaching 150, if he remains healthy and doesn't get shut down by the Brewers.
Miley is the best choice, He is a rookie, has the best numbers and is the ace of a team contending for its division.
If he keeps up his success, will he get it? That's a different story.
Miley will deserve it. But he isn't Bryce Harper.
So will he win it? As much as he will deserve it, I have a feeling he gets snubbed for one of the more popular names and the Miley will get lost competing for the playoffs, which, in the end, is not a bad tradeoff. And I think Miley would say the same thing.
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