This was supposed to happen years ago. When the Milwaukee Brewers drafted Taylor Jungmann back in 2011, many in Brewers’ Nation expected him to be up quickly and a major piece in the team’s rotation. Now finally up five years, later Jungmann is not only exceeding expectations, but in his first eight major league starts he has made a case for himself as the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year.
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This season, there are plenty of intriguing candidates to win the award. Players like Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs and Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers were both all-stars and should have plenty of votes for the award, but Jungmann is quietly making a name for himself, too.
Just like last season’s Rookie of the Year winner, Jacob deGrom, Jungmann has quietly made himself a candidate for the award. Similarly to Jungmann, deGrom wasn’t up with the Mets as the season began last year, but he quickly became the stabilizing force in the rotation as he went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA in his 22 starts.
So far Jungmann has been just as good as deGrom was in his eight starts, going 5-1 with a 2.04 ERA and he seemingly has kept getting better in his last few starts. Not only was he able to record the only complete game of the season for the Brewers so far as he shut down the Dodgers before the break, but he also has been able to rack up almost seven innings per start and look better each time out.
There is a long way to go for Jungmann and two and a half more months of quality starts to prove himself as a candidate for the award, but with the way he has gone so far it is hard to argue that he shouldn’t be a finalist. Many were ready to give up on Jungmann after he struggled early in his minor league career, but with each time out he is continuing to prove that he will be a key piece in the Brewers rotation for years to come.