As mentioned in the wildly popular Nat of the Day feature, where we don't discriminate against players just because they're not starters or Jose Guillen, "Soul Patch" Ryan Church has raised his AVG/OBP/SLG line to 304/347/446 (and on the off chance that you don't know what that means, I made an attempt to explain it here). This is good news for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it puts a Nat in the running for a major award. Let's face it: Brad Wilkerson isn't going to win the MVP, at least not without some better TV commercials. The official position of this blog is that there's no one better than ¡Livan!, but he won't be winning the Cy Young. If there's any justice in the world, Frank has already napped and bunted himself right out of Manager of the Year. But Ryan Church has a shot at Rookie the Year. Although it's early in the season, Church has a lot of catching up to do, and it's going to require every specious argument we can muster to put him over the top.
The front-runner for ROY at the moment is Colorado Rockies shortstop Clint Barmes. Barmes is off to a hot start, putting up a 349/392/550 line with 11 doubles and 7 homers. Yeah, that's pretty good. Too bad the Rockies have road games; Barmes is at 282/317/397 away from Coors Field with only one measly home run. Furthermore, his May has been a lot worse than his April (1106 vs. 780 OPS), he doesn't take many walks, his mother doesn't love him, and he's batting .000 as a pinch hitter. Ryan Church, on the other hand, is 1-7 pinch hitting and his mother's favorite son.
New Yorkers will likely impose themselves into this discussion in a loud, obnoxious, and possibly unshaven manner. "Victah Diaz is da rookie o' da yeah," they'll probably say. And Diaz does sport an impressive line: 294/423/541. But on the other, he just got shipped back to the minors by a fourth place team, and according to the logic that's jobbed Alex Rodriguez out of at least one MVP, he can't win.
Jason Ellison of the Giants is having a nice year as well. 313/358/475, 2 HR, 6 2B. That's a better line than Church's, and Ellison doesn't get benched against a particular type of pitcher, as Frank insists on doing with Soul Patch. But that's only if you ignore the intangibles. Ryan Church is laboring under the expectations placed upon him by trying to replace three-time All Star Endy Chavez (margin of error on Endy's All Star appearances: +/- 3). Despite horrific mismanagement by Frank Robinson, Church hasn't complained at all. Under constant assault by message board armchair outfielders, Church, like John Rocker, has persevered. Plus Ellison lost a game with an error, and Church hasn't even committed an error.
So there you go. Using these arguments, you can prove that anyone who thinks someone other than Ryan Church is Rookie of the Year is a communist. You're welcome.