Regular readers of my site know that my Rookie Cup collection is second only to my Rockies collection. The 1977 Topps set had a Rookie All Star Team featuring Mark Fidrych, Willie Randolph, and Chet Lemon. It was not the strongest team of all time, but it had a few solid players. Since there was a Rookie All Star Team in 1977 Topps, there had to be one in 2013 Quarry Unlimited. I had to choose between two different ways to proceed. One, I could wait for Topps to announce their team and go with that or the obvious second choice, pick my own team. I also made a slight change with the actual cup (aside from changing Topps to Quarry). I chose to incorporate the cup into the new colored border rather than have it free standing into the photo. I now give you the 2013 Quarry Rookie All Star Team along with a comparison to a previous Rookie Cup campaign.
Gattis was an easy choice over a selection of rookies that played only a half season at most. This was a difficult comparison to make because the majority of catchers on the Rookie All Star Team have been more defense than offense. However, the past few years have been the exact opposite as poor defensive catchers have been awarded the cup. Evan Gattis continues that trend that began with Arencibia in 2011.
First base is usually one of the strongest positions on the Rookie All Star Team, but this season the selection was relatively weak. Matt Adams still had a pretty good season for the Cards. As far as comparisons go, Adams IS Ryan Klesko, their rookie seasons were nearly identical both through traditional stats and sabermetrics.
Second base was a fairly strong position in 2013, but Gyorko was an easy choice over Nick Franklin, Anthony Rendon, and Scooter Gennett. The comparison for Gyorko was very difficult because rookie second baseman are not usually known for weak defense, not much speed, and tremendous power. Dan Uggla was the closest comparison for Gyorko, but Uggla had a slightly better overall season.
The only thing surer than Arenado being on my team is death and taxes, and Arenado almost eclipsed taxes. Winning a Gold Glove in your rookie year usually means other accolades are coming as well. That being said, Arenado did have a tough offensive season, but there is hope. Robin Ventura was his closest rookie comparison and his offense eventually caught up to his defense. Just as long as Arenado doesn't charge an old man on the mound.
There were several rookie shortstops in 2013, but I chose Iglesias over his main competition Didi Gregorius of Arizona because of his superior offense. He also has the potential for being the first Rookie All Star Team member to be traded during his rookie year since Felix Jose in 1990. Bucky Dent is actually a very good comparison for Iglesias, although Iglesias was unable to send the Red Sox home unhappy from the playoffs.
Although he had a good season, of the three outfielders Myers was the final choice for me. His power put him ahead of full seasons from Juan Lagares and Brandon Barnes. Adam Dunn's rookie season was almost too identical to Myers. They both had strong half seasons with plenty of power and were mostly weak on the defensive side.
A.J. Pollock was not the best known of the three rookie outfielders, but he arguably had the best season of the three. He definitely had the best defensive season of the trio. His best comparison is that of Mark Kotsay and that is the type of career that Pollock is headed toward. He will probably never be a superstar, but he will be the guy that will always turn up on someone's roster.
In case you just came out from under a rock, Yasiel Puig had his rookie year for the Dodgers in 2013. While I am not a fan of his antics, I do think his energy is good for the game. The comparison with Justice is an apt one not only stat-wise, but also with the boost provided to his team from his early season call up. All of that being said, I really do want to mentally tear up this imaginary card.
This was a tough choice because there were four very good right handed starters in 2013. Fernandez's ERA is ultimately what pulled him ahead of Shelby Miller, Julio Teheran, and Gerrit Cole. He compares favorably to Stan Bahnsen who was supposed to be the next big star pitcher for the Yankees, but couldn't ever live up to the expectations following his outstanding rookie year.
Ryu was a fairly easy winner in this category with his only real competition being the Rangers' Martin Perez. The comparison here with Dontrelle Willis was surprising to say the least. I remember Willis being very dominant in his rookie year and I thought of Ryu as slightly above average with a good offense, but their stats were very similar. The truth probably lies somewhere in between those two extremes.
I thought having the similar Rookie Cup season could give somewhat of a crystal ball outlook on the potential careers ahead of each of these rookies. I am not saying that Jose Iglesias will have Bucky Dent's exact career line or that Jose Fernandez will flame out like Stan Bahnsen, but I'm sure those players weren't expected to do that either following their rookie years. I do think that it is kind of fun to move past the hype of the rookies and see them in a different light. With that said, the potential is there for each of these players to turn in really good careers.