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Astros DH Yordan Alvarez wins the 2019 American League Rookie of the Year Award

Yordan Alvarez, Astros

In what looked to be one of the most lopsided years for the Rookie of the Year races, Houston Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez took home the honors in the American League for 2019 after putting together one of the best offensive seasons for a rookie in a long time.

Having won this award unanimously, he became the first member of the Astros to have garnered all of the votes, while also joining both Jeff Bagwell and Carlos Correa as other members of the Astros to have won the Rookie of the Year award. To be associated in the same company as both Bagwell and Correa means that Alvarez is someone special, and this team has just started to reap the benefits of his offensive outputs.

With all 30 first-place votes having gone to Alvarez, Baltimore Orioles’ rookie starting pitcher John Means and Tampa Bay Rays’ rookie infielder Brandon Lowe fought it out for second and third place, with Means taking home the lone meaningful thing for Baltimore’s putrid 2019 season. With 16 second-place tallies, Means edged out Lowe, who ended up securing six second-place votes.

Alvarez set the rookie MLB record for the most runs driven in during his first 45 career games, having earned 51 RBIs during that time period, and his three home runs against the Orioles in August solidly cemented his status as the league-leading rookie. While he is mainly a DH and his limited defensive abilities can limit him in the long run, his offensive stats cannot be ignored.

For Means, the 11th-round draft selection has broken through the low expectations to become a solid player for the Orioles as they look to finally start their ascent back into competition. While a 12-11 record does not look like anything special, winning more games than he lost with the type of team that was behind him is an accomplishment in itself.

Lowe was very much under the radar heading into this season, similar to Means, and he helped solidify some of the infield depth concerns for the Rays as they chased their Wild Card appearance. Locked up for at least four more seasons with two club options that could last until 2026, Lowe’s recent contract extension shows the type of impact he has already made for the Rays as they look to establish themselves as a bonafide competitor for a postseason berth.

With the AL looking to be as dominant as ever, these youngsters have already solidified their spot in helping their respective teams compete in the league that boasts yearly World Series favorites.