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Billy Hamilton could steal the NL rookie-of-the-year award

Billy Hamilton could steal the NL rookie-of-the-year award
Cincinnati Reds rookie Billy Hamilton triples during a game against the Chicago Cubs on July 9. (Jamie Sabau / Getty Images)

At the All-Star break, a speedster is a top candidate for National League rookie of the year, and a pitcher's recovery from injury could determine the AL winner.

In the NL, if the award was based on stolen bases alone, it probably would go to Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton, whose 38 stolen bases are second in the league to 43 for the Dodgers' Dee Gordon. Hamilton also is batting .285 with 19 doubles and 38 RBIs.

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Shortstop Chris Owings of the Arizona Diamondbacks (.277, six home runs, 21 runs batted in) is also a contender.

In the AL, the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka (12-4 record, 2.51 earned-run average) was a favorite but the pitcher's sore right elbow might derail what otherwise could have been a sensational rookie season.

Infielder Yangervis Solarte, Tanaka's Yankees teammate, has a .255 average and six home runs with 31 RBIs, but he's cooled over the last month. The award could go to Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, who leads the AL in home runs with 29 and is tied for third in RBIs with 73, or to Houston Astros outfielder George Springer (.233, 19 home runs, 50 RBIs).

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