MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

Stats of the year: Bryant vs. past ROYs

Stats of the year: Bryant vs. past ROYs

In 2015, 12 players reached 273 total bases while also drawing at least 77 walks. Among the dozen: three former MVPs (Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen and Joey Votto), and five others who, at one time or another, have led a league in home runs (Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Davis, David Ortiz, Jose Bautista and Bryce Harper).

Only one rookie crashed this party in 2015: Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, who has now added 2015 National League Rookie of the Year to the impressive list of accomplishments from his debut Major League season. Few rookies have ever finished that campaign with at least 273 total bases and 77 walks. Here's the full group:

  • Outfielder Ted Williams (344 TB, 107 BB), age 20 in 1939. Williams posted a 6.7 WAR and a 160 OPS+ in his debut year and finished fourth in American League MVP voting, as there was no Rookie of the Year Award.
  • Third baseman Al Rosen (301 TB, 100 BB), age 26 in 1950. Rosen authored a 5.9 WAR and a 145 OPS+ during his fourth season -- he had played a total of 35 games from 1947-49 -- but did not receive any votes for Rookie of the Year.
  • First baseman Alvin Davis (282 TB, 97 BB), age 23 in 1984. Davis posted a 5.9 WAR and a 147 OPS+ in his debut season, and he was named AL Rookie of the Year.
  • Third baseman Kevin Seitzer (301 TB, 80 BB), age 25 in 1987. Seitzer compiled a 5.5 WAR and a 128 OPS+ in his sophomore campaign, and he finished second to Mark McGwire in voting for AL Rookie honors.
  • Outfielder Tim Salmon (276 TB, 82 BB), age 24 in 1993. Salmon posted a 5.2 WAR and a 143 OPS+ in his second year, and he was named AL Rookie of the Year.
  • Third baseman Bryant (273 TB, 77 BB), age 23 in 2015. Bryant posted a 6.0 WAR and a 133 OPS+.

Selected for age-season, position and experience in the Majors, rookies -- since Jackie Robinson captured the very first Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 -- can be grouped in any number of ways. Here are some of Bryant's stats, in terms of these other variables. (* indicates that the player also won Rookie of the Year.)

  • Bryant is one of 15 players since 1947 to hit at least 26 home runs in a debut season. Among these 15, Bryant is one of three third basemen. The previous two are Ryan Braun * in 2007 (34 HR in his age-23 season) and Evan Longoria * in 2008 (27 HR in his age-22 season).
  • Bryant -- with 62 extra-base hits -- is one of 11 players since 1947 to collect as many as 60 in a debut season and the fourth to do it at third base. In addition to the aforementioned Braun and Longoria, Eric Hinske* did this in 2002 in his age-24 season.
  • Bryant (133 OPS+) is one of a dozen players since 1947 to qualify for the batting title in a debut season and finish the campaign with an OPS+ of at least 130:
    • Age 20: Frank Robinson* (1956), Jason Heyward (2010)
    • Age 21: Curt Blefary* (1965), Albert Pujols * (2001)
    • Age 23: Davis* (1984), Jeff Bagwell* (1991), Bryant (2015)
    • Age 25: Jimmie Hall (1963), Mitchell Page (1977)
    • Age 26: Ferris Fain (1947), Yoenis Cespedes (2012)
    • Age 27: Jose Abreu * (2014)
  • From 1947-2014, 18 rookies posted a WAR of at least 6.0, with 11 of them winning Rookie of the Year. Bryant is now a part of this final list, and it's a nice one to join, as the first 11 are Robinson, Tony Oliva, Dick Allen, Tommie Agee, Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn, Mike Piazza, Nomar Garciaparra, Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki, and Trout. In most of these cases, a notably valuable Rookie of the Year campaign has been a sign of things to come.

Roger Schlueter is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.