Los Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker, who is hoping to return from an oblique injury for the playoffs, set a franchise rookie record in recording 16 wins this season, per MLB Stat of the Day. The previous record of 14 was held by Dean Chance (1962), Marcelino Lopez (1965) and Frank Tanana (1974).

Though not considered an elite prospect, the 27-year-old Shoemaker was often dominant after joining the starting rotation in mid-May. He’ll finish the season with a 3.04 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 124/24 K/BB ratio over 136 innings, with those fantastic numbers complementing a sterling 16-4 record.

The right-hander had a pair of 10-strikeout performances, and he notably got better as the season went on, posting a 1.87 ERA after the All-Star break, compared to a modest 4.38 mark before the Midsummer Classic.

Despite starting just 20 games, Shoemaker leads all rookie pitchers in wins this season, sitting ahead of Kansas City Royals flame-thrower Yordano Ventura (14) and New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka (13).

It was an excellent year for rookie starting pitchers in the American League, with Colin McHugh of the Houston Astros, Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays, Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays and Roenis Elias of the Seattle Mariners also sticking out.

According to ESPN.com, there are seven rookie starters in the American League with 1.5 or more WAR this season, while New York Yankees rookie reliever Dellin Betances incredibly has 3.7 WAR through 70 appearances out of the bullpen.

If not for the presence of Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, the American League would have a slew of pitchers competing for Rookie of the Year honors this season. As is, Abreu rightfully looks like a lock to take home the trophy.

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