With rookies hitters, you expect them to struggle at some point but at the halfway mark of the 2007 season, neither Pence or Braun is slowing down. In this blurb, we will compare and contrast the youngsters and tell you who should steal the NL-ROY award.
Let’s start with Pence, CF for the Houston Astros:
Current Numbers: 275 AB, 11 HR, .342 AVG, 42 RBI, 39 R, 7 SB.
Brings a solid average to the plate with the ability to push balls over the fence. Seemingly adjusts on the fly to any spot in the lineup but is seen most in the two-hole. Currently riding an 8 game hitting streak.
Despite not striking out too often for a rook, his plate discipline could be improved since he has only drawn 10 walks. This will only improve with experience.
And for Braun, 3B- Milwaukee Brewers..
Current Numbers: 163 AB, 11 HR, .350 BA, 32 RBI, 36 R, 8 SB
Has the advantage of placement in a very underrated Brewers offense. Has collected 104 hits in just 163 at bats for an average of .350 (which almost beats his minor league totals). Immense power hitter with 11 homers. Like Pence, a clepto on the base paths with 8 steals.
Strikes out often (37) With experience will become a better hitter against Righties. His OBP is nearly double vs south paws (.600) compared to righties (.310).
While both rookies are having sensational seasons thus far, we believe the NL Rookie of the Year will ultimately go to Braun provided both players stay healthy. If Pence contributed on a better team offensively, then analyzing these two would be a painstaking process.
The Bottom line: Whoever grabbed either of these guys in fantasy leagues is reaping in the rewards. Both players will be fantasy forces for years to come and to think that this is merely the beggining for the young sluggers makes it that much more exciting.