Puig and Fernandez lead NL Rookie of the Year Race

The Major League Baseball season is more than two thirds complete and talk is starting about Most Valuable Player candidates, Cy Young candidates and Rookie of the Year possibilities.

In the National League, there is a deep class of rookies this season, but the two at the top are Jose Fernandez and Yasiel Puig.

The two are not only talked about amongst baseball fans from Miami and Los Angeles, but on Monday, they met on the baseball diamond when Fernandez pitched for the Miami Marlins against Puig and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fernandez pitched versus the Dodgers earlier in the season, but that was in May prior to Puig being called up from the minors, thus it was the first time the two Cubans battled on the field.

On Monday night, Fernandez came out on top versus Puig. The Marlins rookie got Puig to pop up to short in the first, a grounder to short in the third and a strikeout in the fifth. Fernandez was done following six innings.

He allowed one earned run and got the win as the Marlins defeated the NL West leaders 6-2. The loss gave Los Angeles its first two-game losing streak since June 20 and 21.

Puig was visibly upset following his strikeout during the fifth inning. He had to be controlled by teammates Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe in the dugout.

As the season heads down the stretch, the race for rookie of the year will get even more interesting in the NL.

Fernandez is having an historical season on the mound, but the Dodgers and Puig have made one of baseball’s best comebacks and that could over shadow Fernandez’s performance.

Word is Miami will shut Fernandez down after he pitches 165 innings and he is at 145 and a fraction now. He may only see another three to four starts this season.

Fernandez at this point is 9-5 on the season with an ERA of 2.41 and has an amazing 157 strikeouts in his 145 plus innings.

Puig on the other hand will get his chance to win the voters over, as he will be playing each day in the outfield for the Dodgers as they try to win the NL West and end up in the World Series.

On Tuesday night, Puig hit a home run for the Dodgers to win the game against the Marlins.

Puig is hitting .351 for the season with 12 home runs and 28 RBIs. He has seven stolen bases, 23 walks, has scored 48 runs and is sitting on 92 hits with an OBP of .412, an OPS of .968 and a slugging percentage of .556.

For just one game, Fernandez got the better of Puig, but there are 40 games overall left to be played in the regular season and Puig’s chances to improve on his season are much higher than Fernandez’s.

My choice is Puig.

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