ANAHEIM -- When Mike Scioscia was asked if J.B. Shuck was a legitimate candidate for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, the Angels manager's response was simple.
"Absolutely," Scioscia said.
For obvious reasons, Shuck is not getting the attention that Mike Trout did when he ran away with the award in 2012, but Shuck enters Tuesday leading all AL rookies in hits (108), doubles (17) , runs scored (50) and total bases (137).
"I won't say [I'm] surprised, because you're really not sure, he only had less than 100 at-bats in the Major Leagues, so you're not really sure what a player's track record is going to be," Scioscia said of Shuck's season. "But, you can definitely see the growth from the first day he came to camp with us and where he is now. The comfort level, the production has been there."
Shuck, who was released by the Astros in the offseason -- signed a Minor League contract with the Angels in November, hit .358 in Spring Training and made the Opening Day roster.
Since then, Shuck has played in 109 games for the Angels in the outfield and as the designated hitter with a .297 batting average and 30 multi-hit games.
"We projected he had the potential to do some of the things that we are seeing him do on the field, and he is doing them on a consistent basis," Scioscia said. "He's having a terriffic year."
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less