In addition to being the odds-on favorite to win American League Rookie of the Year honors, Mike very well could take home AL MVP as well. So Jose Quintana's chances of winning AL Rookie of the Year are pretty low, just like the chances of Yu Darvish and Jarrod Parker, both of whom have had solid debuts with the Rangers and A's, respectively.
Most figured Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore -- who entered 2012 ranked as a top-three prospect in baseball along with Trout and Washington's Bryce Harper -- would be at the top of the AL rookie pitcher heap at this point. But with walk issues plaguing him and a 4.23 ERA, Moore has found himself well behind the top group of AL rookie hurlers, which includes Quintana.
Texas paid a massive price to bring Darvish over from Japan, and he hasn't disappointed in his first year in the states. Jarrod Parker was a former top-10 pick and the top prospect coming to Oakland over the winter in a trade that sent Trevor Cahill to Arizona.
Both those pitchers have blue-chip backgrounds and feature the kind of repertoires that scouts drool over. Quintana, who spent 2011 as a relative unknown in Single-A with the Yankees organization, is the exact opposite.
Quintana's fastball averages 90 miles per hour, and he doesn't have a refined changeup. But he's hardly walking anybody and doesn't allow many home runs, which has fueled his success to the tune of a 2.30 ERA.
In terms of the hypothetical rookie of the year race -- in which a second honor is awarded because Trout's on a completely different level -- Quintana would be dinged because of his later addition to the Sox rotation. He's only made 10 starts (with two relief appearances) and thrown 70 13 innings, while Darvish (18 starts, 116 IP) and Parker (16 starts, 99 IP) have seen more time in the majors.
And that Quintana didn't join the White Sox to much fanfare may also work against him in this hypothetical scenario -- he hardly has the national notoriety of Darvish or even Parker. It's easy to forget that Quintana's major-league debut came as a mop-up man for Philip Humber during a doubleheader in Cleveland, and he was a somewhat surprising add to the rotation when John Danks went down in late May.
Quintana doesn't have a sexy win total, either, which unfortunately may unfairly color some outside views on the 23-year-old lefty. But it's hardly Quintana's fault he's 4-1 -- he's the only pitcher in the modern era to three times throw eight shutout innings and get no-decisions in every one of those outings.
While Trout, Darvish and Parker, are probably the top three in AL Rookie of the Year voting, Quintana absolutely deserves some recognition. And maybe with two more good months, he'll actually get it.