Power Players Poll of the Week
Who'll hit the most home runs this year? Which pitcher will have the most strikeouts? Those questions and others will be posed by SI.com over the next two months in a series of poll galleries with a ballot on the last frame. This week's question: Who'll win the NL Rookie of the year award? With the increased hype surrounding him before the season as the No. 2 prospect in the majors according to Baseball America, Heyward hasn't disappointed. Starting with a bang on Opening Day with a homer and four RBI, Heyward has provided an offensive boost for the Braves from the No. 2 or No. 3 slot in the batting order for much of the season. Through June 15, he led all rookies with 10 home runs and 43 RBI.
The last of the bunch to make his Major League debut, Strasburg has made up for lost time and been dominant in his first two starts for the Washington Nationals. The right hander from San Diego State baffled the cellar-dwelling Pittsburgh Pirates and battled his way through less than ideal mound conditions in Cleveland. Through 12 1/3 innings of work since his June 8th call up he has struck out 22, featuring a triple digit four-seam fastball, a 91 mph change-up and a hard curve ball that has him rolling along with a 2.57 ERA.
Asked to bolster a floundering Mets offense, the 18th overall pick in the 2008 MLB First Year Player Draft was called up from AAA Buffalo on an April 19. As of June 16, the Mets were 32-20 and half a game back of Atlanta for first place in the NL East. Davis was batting .258 (.346 OBP), with 8 HR and 28 RBI.
June 8, 2010, might be the last time Mike Stanton is ever an afterthought. Whether by design or by mistake, the Marlins called up their best home grown hitting prospect since Miguel Cabrera on the same day as Steven Strasburg. Stanton notched three hits in his MLB debut and in his first six games in the big leagues, the 20-year-old outfielder was batting .304 (.385 OBP) with four RBI and two stolen bases.
Drafted 8th overall in the 2009 MLB First Year Player Draft, Leake played in the Arizona Fall League and won a spot in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation without spending a day in the minors. Leake has been a revelation on his first trip around the Majors, posting a 5-0 record in 12 starts. Through June 16, he had pitched 77.1 innings with a 2.68 ERA.
After coming to the Cardinals two years ago in a trade for one of the organization's most beloved players in Jim Edmonds, the 27-year-old Freese has quickly made his own mark in St. Louis. His six RBI against the Braves on April 29 were the most by a Cardinals rookie since 1957. Through June 15, he led all qualified NL rookies with a .309 batting average.
The 24-year-old Colvin turned some heads with an impressive spring training in which he hit .468. Still, stuck in a logjam of a Cubs outfield, he was regarded as the team's fifth outfielder heading into the season. But as he continues to carry that hot streak from spring training into the season, he has found a more regular spot in the lineup. In just 102 at-bats through June 15, Colvin had hit seven homers while slugging .608.
It has been a wild ride to the major leagues for Garcia: elbow problems, struggles and Tommy John surgery in 2008. Armed with an added repertoire of pitches after a speedy recovery, Garcia earned the fifth spot in the Cardinals' rotation out of spring training and continues to impress. Through June 15, he led all rookies and was second in the majors with a 1.49 ERA in 12 starts.