Chris Coghlan: Rookie of the Year?

coghlan_hit streakI know it may be a stretch at this point, but in a month or so you can point back to this blog and say, “Ahh! There’s a man of vision!” Well, that too might be a stretch, but no one can deny that Chris Coghlan is quietly putting together an impressive body of work in this his rookie campaign.

One of the most difficult things to do in all of sports is hit a baseball. Add to the fact that you have to lead off and set the table for your team’s offense and you got quite a responsibility. Oh, and you’re a rookie.

Let’s get the bio out of the way – Coghlan is 24 and was drafted in the supplemental draft in 2006 out of Mississippi. Incidentally, the kid is a Florida native, hailing from Palm Harbor. Called up on May 8th against the Rockies, Coghlan made an immediate impact going 2/4 and scoring a run. Currently, the rookie is on a hitting streak – which set a franchise record for multiple hit games in a row with 8. He has a chance to extend that record tonight against the Astros.

Perhaps the acquisition of Nick Johnson has helped his bat. Is is a coincedence that his current hitting streak extends back to the Nick Johnson debut? His average has risen from .255 to .285, scoring 8 runs along the way.

Whose the competition? Let’s take a look and you decide:

Right now, the front runner has to be J.A. Happ. He is pitching really well for the division leading Phillies. As for the other candidates, there is no one who really stands out. Looking at the stats, the rookie with the most home runs was Rasmus with 11 homers, but is only batting .248. Rasmus was an early pick for the ROY, along with Cameron Maybin.

McCutchen has exploded onto the seen, but his limited time in the bigs may hurt his final numbers – but he has the best overall line of the group .292 AVG, 7 HRs, 9 SBs and 40 RBIS. Dexter Fowler has 26 SBs, but is only hitting .265. McGehee has 9 homers and a .308 AVG which on those numbers alone could make him a close 2nd behind Happ. Parra’s line is .293 with 5 home runs and 5 SBs, 41 RBIs.

Then there is Garrett Jones, who is hitting .291 with 12 home runs. His 19 RBIs seems ridiculous to look at considering his power production and that may adversely affect his consideration for the top spot in the NL. Then again he didn’t make his debut until July 1st and already has passed by Rasmus.

Coghlan has some very good stats that compare favorably. With a .285 AVG, 7 home runs, and 44 runs, he is definitely in the mix. The question is, can he separate himself from the pack and even stave off the potentially gawdy numbers of Jones, Happ and even McCutchen? With the 8 game multiple hit streak going, this may be his chance to shine. The addition of Nick Johnson certainly has helped Coghlan and if he continues on this pace, he could end up with the hardware at the end of the season.