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MLB Rookie of the Year 2013: Wil Myers’ Late Surge Makes Him Most Deserving

Tampa Bay rookie Wil Myers was a fantastic addition to the lineup, adding a capable bat to a middle that badly needed help on offense. But it’s the way he got hot at just the right time late in the season that should secure American League Rookie of the Year honors for the young Rays slugger.

Myers has been a bit of a disappointment in the postseason, but the Rookie of the Year is a regular season award. So setting aside his rookie mistakes and disappointments in the playoffs, it’s clear that he has the raw statistics to command the award without any further justification.

Among players with 350 plate appearances or more, Myers ranks in the top-25 in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage. That was a huge boost for a Rays team that badly needed a more consistent bat in the lineup to help out their talented pitching staff.

Looking at the advanced stats, Myers gets an even bigger boost to his candidacy. Myers led all AL Rookies in wOBA and WAR according to Fangraphs. WOBA stands for weighted on base average and is one of the best “catch-all” offensive statistics, as explained by the staff at Fangraphs. WAR is an overall measure of how much value a player adds to a team above a replacement-level player.

But the most important point of Myers’ award candidacy is his improved batting in September. In August, it appeared that Myers hit a rookie wall and that pitchers had caught up with him. But in September, Myers bounced back, and his increased productivity was key for the Rays in a crucial stretch to put the team in position to make the playoffs.

Take a look at one of his more memorable moments from September in the video below, as he crushes a ball deep to left-center field against the Twins.

Myers had at least one hit in 15 games during a late September rally in which the Rays won 14 of 20 games, including wins over every one of their division rivals. This is the kind of clutch hitting that separates him from fellow AL Rookie of the Year contender Jose Iglesias of the Detroit Tigers, who had only two total hits after September 10th.

So despite his postseason missteps, Myers should be awarded the AL Rookie of the Year honors for his fantastic statistics and his clutch hitting when it mattered most.

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Rays vs. Athletics: Final Score, Reactions and Analysis

The Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics met in a game with playoff implications in the American League, and the Athletics emerged victorious with a 4-3 win.

David Price will go in the books as the losing pitcher, as the Cy Young winner allowed 4 runs, 3 of which were earned, over 7 innings.

But it was the 8th inning in which he pitched where it fell apart, as Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon kept Price in to face Coco Crisp in the 8th inning, and the speedster would get a base hit.

He’d come around to score the winning run, and make a winner out of Ryan Cook, who blew a lead set up by a great performance from Jarrod Parker.

Kurt Suzuki put the initial pressure on the Rays, as his three-run homer in the 5th inning put the A’s on top 3-1.

And despite the Tampa Bay rally against Parker and Cook in the 8th, the A’s would hold on for the victory.

Be sure to check out the live blog below for reactions and updates as they happened during the game.

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