The 2012 rookie class across MLB was perhaps one of the best ever, highlighted by the Rookie of the Year winners in each league: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. But past Harper and Trout, there were a lot of rookies who had great years. Seven rookies put together three win seasons, and an additional 15 accrued at least two wins on the season. Going into 2013, many members of this rookie class will be expected to play pivotal roles on their team. Which of last year's rookies will have the most crucial roles, though? Here are my seven picks for 2012 rookies that will play huge roles on their teams this season.
Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles. Chen was one of just three Orioles pitchers to make at least 20 starts in 2012, along with Jason Hammel and Tommy Hunter. But when you consider that both Hammel and Hunter made exactly 20 starts, and that Chen ended up making 32, Chen's importance to the Orioles cannot be understated. The team used 12 starting pitchers in 2012, with eight pitchers getting at least ten starts for the team. Luckily for the Orioles, their bullpen was so unbelievably good that they were able to withstand the erratic nature of their rotation, but Chen needs to put together another solid performance in 2013 to prevent Baltimore's rotation from giong into another tailspin. Imagine if he struggled or got hurt last season and the Orioles had to reach even further down their depth chart. I mean, they've got Jair Jurrjens penciled into a spot right now if he stays healthy. Chen going down would cause headaches for Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette.no comments