The Candy Man
Let’s incorporate a pitcher into the mix. Who better than the “Candy Man” John Candelaria. Candelaria’s rookie year took place in 1975, and he didn’t disappoint. That year Candelaria posted an 8-6 record with a very impressive 2.76 ERA and a slightly higher FIP of 2.82. Not too shabby for a rookie, eh? That 2.76 ERA put him slightly behind the 10th place in top ERA.
In 120.2 innings pitched he gave up just eight homers, 36 walks and 95 hits. Opponents were batting just .207 against Candelaria, and when you tie the low walk numbers into that as well, you get a very impressive WHIP of just 1.09. That 1.09 WHIP placed him in third place that year with the lowest. the “Candy Man” would lead a very long and successful career.
I usually tend to stay away from Andrew McCutchen conversations because of the pain I feel for thinking what could have been. None of which is his fault, of course, just bad circumstances. Cutch was donned the new savior for many years as he was coming up through the Pirate system. Well, fans got their wish in 2009. That year Cutch tore the cover off the ball, it seemed.
In 2009 Cutch had a .286/.365/.471 slash line, and to boot, he showcased his power/speed combo with 12 homers and 22 stolen bases. His advanced stats were impressive too with a .363 wOBA, 122 wRC+ and a 30.5% hard-hit rate. That year Cutch finished 4th in NL Rookie of the Year voting, falling victim to Chris Coghlan’s rampant year.