Let’s sat that a “robust” discussion broke out in the comments in regard to the potential Rookie of the Year candidates. Jack, in particular, made a sterling case for the inclusion of one player, and after shuffling through all the contributions and lists, we’ve come up with the following five candidates for your consideration.
An unexpected arrival at the end of July, Gallen more than lived up to expectations down the stretch, posting a 2.89 ERA over eight starts. He struck out 53 batters in 43.2 innings of work, and looked as good a trade-deadline pitching acquisition as Arizona have had since Daniel Hudson in 2010. He made an immediate impact, tossing five shutout innings of one-hit ball in his first start on August 7. But his best appearance of the year came on September 4 against the Padres. Zac again allowed one hit, this time over seven innings, striking out eight while walking just one. He has yet to allow more than three runs in a major-league game, a 15-start streak not surpassed to open a career in the NL since Steve Rogers in 1973.
When Michael wrote up the D-backs’ prospects top 30 list last winter, Ginkel barely made it, squeaking in at #29. It’s not just Mike: I couldn’t find any list that had Kevin listed in the top twenty. But he blitzed through the season, despite missing all of June with elbow inflammation, posting a 1.78 ERA with 63 K’s over 35.1 innings before his call-up. His major-league numbers were scarcely less impressive: a 1.48 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 24.1 innings. Ginkel even picked up a pair of saves (the first is shown above), though his most notable outing was probably on September 23. In the seventh inning against St. Louis, the rookie struck out some guy called Paul Goldschmidt, Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong.
No-one knew for sure how Kelly would work out, facing major-league batters for the first time, after four years pitching in Korea. But he seemed to figure it out, leading the team in innings pitched. His 183.1 IP trailed only Wade Miley’s 2012 (194.2) among Arizona rookies in franchise history, and at 4.42, his ERA was barely distinguishable from Robbie Ray. Merrill won his debut on April 1, and six days later had what was probably his best start (above), holding the reigning World Series champion Red Sox to a Mitch Moreland home-run over eight innings, striking out nine and walking none. He finished strong, winning four of his last five starts while putting up a 2.18 ERA. Hopefully that bodes well for 2020.
Locastro hit by pitch 3 times in the same game
History was made on Friday night and it had nothing to do with the 18 runs scored by the #Dbacks. Tim Locastro tied a Major League record by being hit by a pitch 3 times in the same game.
Posted by Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, May 25, 2019
I wanted to assemble a video montage of Locastro being hit by pitches, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Unfortunately, you will have to settle for the above, the contest on May 24 where Tim became the first-ever Diamondback – and at the time only the 10th National Leaguer ever – to be hit by three pitches in the same game. We all know about Locastro setting a franchise record for HBP, being plunked 22 times in only 250 PA. But that wasn’t the only admirable aspect of his game. He was a perfect 17-0 in stolen bases, setting an NL rookie record for most SB without getting caught. His career 22-0 is currently most ever in the majors there. And I didn’t even get to mention his solid defense and hustle.
After spending his entire career behind All-Star first-basemen – first, Chris Davis in Baltimore, then Paul Goldschmidt here – it seemed that Walker might still find himself limited in playing time, playing platoon fiddle to Jake Lamb at first-base. But after Lamb went down, just seven games into the season, Walker took over and made the very most of his opportunity. His 29 home-runs were second-most by a D-backs rookie ever (Chris Young had 32 in 2007), and his 73 RBI were also second-most (Conor Jackson, of all people, had 79 in 2006). While earning a twenty-fifth of what Goldschmidt did in St. Louis, Walker had a not dissimilar season, and even picked up an unexpected Gold Glove nomination. Above, his two-homer game where he put up a season-high for Arizona +71.2% in Win Probability.