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Can 2012 Top National League Rookies Build On Their Success?

If you are getting ready for fantasy baseball season, here are some tips about last year’s top fantasy baseball rookies in the National League.

Bryce Harper was the big National League rookie name going into the 2012 season and he ended up winning NL Rookie of the Year, but the four other players who finished in the top five could also have bright fantasy futures. 

Bryce Harper, Outfielder, Washington Nationals

Harper scored 98 runs with 18 steals while hitting 22 homers and batting .270. The only other players to reach all those numbers were Ryan Braun, Mike Trout and Andrew McCutcheon. And Harper did it as a nineteen-year-old, turning 20 last October. Harper finished strong, with 13 homers combined in August and September and a .330 average in September.

Norichika Aoki, Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers

Aoki hit .288 with 30 steals and 10 homers. Only two other players had as high an average, at least 30 steals and double-digit homers – Braun and Trout. While Aoki is no Braun or Trout, he was also one of the few speedsters last year who could get your steals while not hurting you in average and/or homers.  While Aoki is now 31 and was caught stealing eight times, he is on a team that likes to run – the Brewers led the majors in steals in 2012.

Wilin Rosario, Catcher, Colorado Rockies

Rosario led all catchers with 28 homers despite not taking over the starting role until May.  He hit .270 with 71 RBI in 396 at bats. Rosario had 18 homers and a .297 BA in Rockie home games as opposed to 10 homers and .242 on the road. But his lefty-righty split was even more pronounced – .348 BA and 1.140 OPS against lefties vs. .239 BA and .726 OPS against righties.

Wade Miley, Pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks

Miley won 16 games with a 3.33 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, but had just 144 strikeouts in 194.2 innings, a K/9 of 6.7.  However, he was still tenth in K/BB with 3.89 thanks to a seventh-best BB/9 of 1.7. Miley made the All-Star team but tailed off late in the season with a 5.90 ERA and 1.72 WHIP in September.

Todd Frazier, Third Base, Cincinnati Reds

Frazier hit 19 homers in 422 at bats while hitting .273 as a fill-in for injured Scott Rolen and Joey Votto (Frazier also has first-base eligibility).  He was not a product of Great American, hitting nine of his homers on the road and having a road OPS of .871 vs. .786 at home.  Frazier faltered at the end of the season, hitting .181 with one homer in September, but with Rolen a free agent, Frazier goes into 2013 as the Reds’ third baseman.

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Ben Hargrove writes on a variety of fantasy baseball sites, including DraftStreet.

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