Bryce Harper was 1 for 18 with six Ks in his first four postseason games in the Washington Nationals' NLDS matchup with St. Louis. Davey Johnson was sure that the 19-year-old outfielder would do something big in Game 5, however, telling a reporter who asked about the Cardinals' pitching shutting Harper down that the Nats' rookie outfielder had battled the conditions in Busch Stadium and possibly tried a little too hard to make something happen, but had learned and adjusted all season showing an impressive ability to make necessary adjustments. Johnson was sure Harper would come through in Game 5.
"He's done great," Johnson said, "I mean, the tension of a pennant race in September, he played like a veteran. But he still expects a lot out of himself and even one ballgame, if it doesn't go where he does a lot of good things, he's going to just try harder. And he's going to expand the zone. But I look for him to -- I mean, he's had four games now, so he should be calmed down tonight. He should be all right." Harper went 2 for 5 with a triple and a home run in the final game of the year for the Nationals.
The SB Nation's baseball writers voted Bryce Harper the 2012 SB Nation Rookie of the Year, giving the 2010 no.1 overall pick 26 first place and nine second place votes to elect him over Arizona D-Backs' left-hander Wade Miley and Cincinnati infielder Todd Frazier. Harper, who turned 20 in October, put up a .270/.340/.477 line with 26 doubles, nine triples and 22 HRs in 139 games and 597 plate appearances over which he was worth +4.9 fWAR for the NL East Champs.
Wade Miley, the Diamondbacks' 25-year-old, '08 1st Round pick, was (16-11) in his +4.8 fWAR 2012 campaign, posting a 3.33 ERA and 3.15 FIP with 37 walks (1.71 BB/9) and 144 Ks (6.66 K/9) in 32 games, 29 starts and 194.2 IP. Miley received eight first place votes and 21 second-place votes. Frazier, the only other player to receive a 1st place vote is the Reds' 26-year-old '07 1st Round pick, who had a .273/.331/.498, +2.8 fWAR 2012 season with 26 doubles, six triples and 19 HRs in 128 games and 465 PAs.
Harper was second in the NL in HRs by a rookie with 22 to Rockies' catcher Wilin Rosario's 28. The Nats' outfielder led all National League rookies with 98 runs scored and was second to the Brewers' Norichika Aoki with 18 SBs to Aoki's NL-leading 30 SBs. The Nats' rookie's +4.9 fWAR was the NL's best amongst rookies and second only to the LA Angels' Mike Trout (+10.0 fWAR) among first-year players league-wide. Trout was named the SB Nation's AL Rookie of the Year this morning. Both players are finalists for their league's respective BBWAA Rookie of the Year Awards. The winners of the BBWAA ROY awards will be announced tonight at 6:00 pm EDT.
• Here are the results of the voting by the SB Nation's baseball writers:
|Bryce Harper||Washington Nationals||26||9||¬†||157|
|Wade Miley||Arizona Diamondbacks||8||21||5||108|
|Todd Frazier||Cincinnati Reds||1||4||9||26|
|Norichika Aoki||Milwaukee Brewers||¬†||¬†||14||14|
|Zack Cozart||Cincinnati Reds||¬†||1||2||5|
|Andrelton Simmons||Atlanta Braves||¬†||¬†||1||1|
|Anthony Rizzo||Chicago Cubs||¬†||¬†||1||1|
|Lucas Harrell||Houston Astros||¬†||¬†||1||1|
|Mike Fiers||Milwaukee Brewers||¬†||¬†||1||1|
|Yasmani Grandal||San Diego Padres||¬†||¬†||1||1|