Is Chris Archer Making a Case for Rookie of the Year?

By David Hill

When the Rays called up Wil Myers, he almost immediately became the favorite for the American League Rookie of the Year award despite not making his debut until June 18th. The idea that he would factor into the Rookie of the Year chase said a great deal about the expectations placed upon Myers once he arrived in the majors, but also pointed out the general weakness of the rookie crop in the American League. Unlike the National League, where there are first year players along the likes of Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez and Yasiel Puig, no one in the American League really stands out.

While that would make it potentially easier for Myers to take the Rookie of the Year award with only four months in the majors, he is not the only player eligible on his team that may be able to stake a claim to the prize. Chris Archer has been making a case for himself lately as well, and may end up turning the vote into a two player race for the Rays.

After a rough beginning where he went 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA in his first four starts, Archer has turned his season around. Despite taking a loss on Friday where he appeared to tire down the stretch, Archer has still put together a 5-1 record with a 1.80 ERA in his last eight appearances. In fact, over that time, it could be argued that Archer has been the second best starter on the Rays, trailing only David Price.

As Archer has transformed himself into a complete pitcher lately, he has also begun to put himself into the conversation for Rookie of the Year. Maybe he has not received as much attention as his teammate, or even Jose Iglesias, but the overall statistics – a 6-4 record with a 2.65 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 74.1 innings – are indicative of a player that should find himself in the conversation should they continue. Even though he may not be the favorite, Chris Archer could end up finding himself on a few ballots for Rookie of the Year.