The 26-year-old Darvish signed with the Rangers in the offseason for six years and $56 million, after Texas had paid more than a $50 million posting fee for the right to negotiate with the Japanese pitcher. Darvish started the season hot with a 2.18 ERA and 33 strikeouts in five games, but struggled as the season continued. The Rangers pitcher was just 1-3 in July, with a 5.74 ERA in four starts while dealing with command issues.
Darvish figured things out in the final month of the season, going 3-0 in September and walking just seven batters in five games while putting up a 2.21 ERA and 0.74 WHIP in the final month of the season. The Rangers started Darvish in the AL Wild Card playoff game against the Baltimore Orioles, with the rookie pitcher allowing three runs in 6.2 innings while striking out seven in the heartbreaking loss.
Darvish led all AL rookie pitchers with 16 wins and 221 strikeouts on the season, and finished with a 3.90 ERA.
Also named as finalists were Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. This is the first year the BBWAA has announced the finalists prior to the announcement of the winner, who will be named next week.