MLB Tips: Assess the rookie-of-the-year races as the baseball season nears halftime

Throughout the season I will be on the lookout for the most important awards. I’ve looked at the MVP and Cy Young ratings for each league several times. Now it’s time to give the kids their share. Let’s take a look at the current Rookie of the Year odds in each league.


He’s barely been up a week, but the Pirates’ Oneil Cruz is the betting favorite at +350. Braves midfielder Michael Harris is next at +375. Padre’s pitcher MacKenzie Gore and Brave’s hurler Spencer Strider are both sitting at +550. Cardinals second baseman Nolan Gorman is at +650 while his teammate, Utility Man Brendan Donovan is at +1000.

so much fun and he’s a statcast superstar but with such a late start and chances of him posting a low batting average (0.222 so far) and a gross strikeout rate (11K, 0BB in 36 at-bats). , it makes me want to stay away. He’s interesting and his long-term limit is probably the highest here, but the favourite? For this season? nope

harris could be the winner at this point. He was a good defender in a prime position while hitting power and average and also offered value on the base paths. I think he’ll continue to be a good defender and baserunner, but I’m skeptical about hitting. Given the extreme strikeout-to-walk ratio and a lot of batted luck, he’ll be batting worse than he has been the rest of the way. There will also be a time when the league adjusts to him, and he will be tasked with adjusting to those adjustments. With just 43 career games in Double-A and zero in Triple-A, I’m not sure he’s ready to handle that yet. Let’s keep in mind that of course we’re only talking about becoming Rookie of the Year in 2022. I think he will be a great player for a long time.

blood was so valuable to the Padres as they used their organizational depth to overcome rotational injuries. He recently had two terrible outings in a row, although the last time he rebounded with five scoreless innings. Still, he’s at 59 1/3 innings this season. He only pitched 62 1/3 innings last season if we loop in the Arizona Fall League and add it to his work in the minors. There is no way he will take on the workload it takes for a beginning pitcher to win this award.

possible value?
Cardinal’s Utility Man/DH Juan Yepez sits at +1500. That’s too low. He hit .277/.322/.497 (133 OPS+) with eight doubles, nine homers, 24 RBI and 21 runs in 48 games.

At +2000, Cubs Supply Man Christopher Morel has the kind of stats fill that this thing could pick up on. He’s only played in 38 games, but he has nine doubles, two triples, five homers, 16 RBI, 25 runs and seven steals. Diamondbacks center fielder Alexander Thomas is +2500 and has seven doubles, six homers, four stelas and plays great defense in 45 games.

How about Red’s starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft at +15000. Through seven starts, he is 4-1 with a 3.27 ERA (145 ERA+) and 1.09 WHIP. He ran 111 innings last season (or almost double Gore’s output), so there’s a little more hope for him to stay strong later in the season. Also, these are ridiculously long odds.

The selection
I was thinking about Gorman but he’s hit 40 times in 118 at-bats and the appearance of Donovan and Yepez limits his playtime a bit I think. I’m going here with Yepez. His odds have dropped from +2000 to +1500 in the last two days alone and he has staying power. He is also prominently displayed for a contender.

American League

The favorite is the Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez at -130. Astro’s shortstop Jeremy Peña is second at +325, followed by Royal’s shortstop Bobby Witt, Jr. at +430. There’s a big dip ahead of Orioles catcher Adleyrutschman (+1200), Tigers outfielder Riley Greene (+2500), and Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan (+2500), but it’s a top-heavy field.

I don’t really have anything here. There are some I wouldn’t bet on, but the odds get long pretty quickly here, so there’s not much that stands out as unreasonable.

possible value?
slide man
got off to a slow start — it always amazes me when it happens and people go, “What’s going on?” — but in his last 16 games he’s hit .310 with a .638 shot. He didn’t hit a homer until his 21st game, but he hit his second and third home runs there in his last five games. The Orioles are 14-11 this month and are just six games under .500 overall. People will start noticing.

It’s going to be terribly difficult for a pitcher against Rodríguez, Witt,rutschman et al. to break through, but through 11 starts Ryan is 6-3 with 3.20 ERA (120 ERA+), 1.12 WHIP and 1.3 WAR. Of course, he’s at 59 innings and only worked 92 2/3s between the minors and majors last season.

Spencer Torkelson (+4500) was bad this season. He has 68 OPS+, only four homers in 240 plate appearances and is last in WAR. He also has the kind of power that means he could go on a wave and jump right into the thick of the race. He hit 30 home runs in 121 games across three minor league levels last season. I think the field is too crowded here, but throwing some loose change at him would be justifiable.

Jarren Duran (+10000) has only played 13 games but he’s hitting .327/.386/.500 and he’s hitting the leadoff. He could be piling up the runs if he keeps coming down to base like this and he’s on a high-profile team.

The selection
I think Rodríguez will win. He doesn’t have the greatest value right now, but who cares when you have the winner? Electrifying, Rodríguez has filled the stat list for bits, hitting .276/.337/.452 (129 OPS+) with 15 doubles, a triple, 11 homers, 35 RBI, 40 runs, 19 steals and 2.9 WAR. We discussed the slow start thing with Chuteman, but if we only lost the first 12 games of Julio’s career, he’s hit .301/.360/.506 since then. He’s already proving to be a star and has a decent lead overrutschman.

rutschman is the backup pick with good chances. At this point I’d be pretty shocked if anyone other than Rodríguez,rutschman, Peña and Witt won that.