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Rookie of the Year, American League, National League

Editorials

Rookie of the Year: Real candidates in the National and American League

Rookie of the Year: Real candidates in the National and American League

  • CLUTCH SUMMARY: For the 2019 MLB Rookie of the Year award races, both the American and National Leagues boast true candidates, like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Pete Alonso.
  • With Vlad Jr. fighting with slugger Yordan Alvarez and Orioles’ rookie John Means, Vlad Jr. has the fullest body of work for voters to analyze.
  • In the NL, Pete Alonso has put together one of the best rookie seasons to date, breaking Cody Bellinger’s rookie season home run mark already, hitting 40 bombs and putting the Mets on his back on their quest to make up a ton of ground in the playoff hunt.

Seeing as how the youthful talent of the game of baseball seems to be taking hold of the sport, it is no surprise that both rookie of the year races for the American and National Leagues are big-time showcases of the league’s best talent. Both leagues have been providing top-notch positional player and pitching talent, and the 2019 season is no different.

For both the AL and NL, bloodlines are dominating the rookie race, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is solidly in the AL race for the Toronto Blue Jays, and on the NL side, even with a season-ending back injury, Fernando Tatis Jr. looks to be a top-three candidate from the San Diego Padres.

However, even with both Vlad and Tatis Jr. having been around the sport of baseball since they were born, they have a ton of competition for the award, and for Tatis Jr.’s case, he is definitely on the outside looking in.

American League

Candidates:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 3B, Toronto
Yordan Alvarez – DH, Houston
John Means – SP, Baltimore

Guerrero Jr. has put together the most solid season out of these three players, yet he has no wrapped up the award in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, the recent play of Houston Astros rookie Yordan Alvarez has catapulted his stock up dramatically in a bid to steal the award away from the young Blue Jay.

For Alvarez, only being a designated hitter makes his case a bit tougher, as they can only grade his play on his offensive skill set. However, those skills have been on full display since being called up from the minors, and Alvarez has a solid grasp on the starting designated hitter role, hopefully, and finally bringing a sense of stability to one of the few weaker links of the dominant Astros squad.

John Means has been the lone bright spot for the struggling Orioles team, who managed yet again to suck even more than normal, which seems to be a typical Orioles thing to do. Means has been a really solid arm from the team’s starting rotation, and if not for being on such a bad team, Means would be a legitimate shot at taking home the award.

Even with being down in the minors to start the season, apparently due to needing to work on his defensive skills over at the hot corner, Vlad Jr. has put together a season that most expected, yet was still blown away by. Being one of the core pieces of the youth movement in Canada, Vlad Jr. has matched up with Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette to form one of the best teams in five years, especially with the history that all three have due to their fathers playing in the league before them.

Although Alvarez has put up big-time numbers lately, Vlad Jr. has had the hype train behind him since he was signed by the Blue Jays. Consistently being that guy this season for Toronto, his full body of work for this season should be enough to have him squeak by Alvarez and bring the trophy home to north of the border.

National League

Candidates:

Pete Alonso – 1B, New York (NL)
Fernando Tatis Jr. – SS, San Diego
Mike Soroka – SP, Atlanta

This race is already wrapped up, the case is closed, send everyone home – Pete Alonso has absolutely been on a tear this season, and no late-season push from anyone else is going to stop him from winning the award.

Coupled with the Mets’ performance as of late, drawing close in a hotly-contested Wild Card race, and you have the makings of one of the most lopsided ROY races in recent memory. Baseball seems to have become a likable sport again in Queens, and Alonso can be thanked for being the driving force behind that movement.

Having already passed the rookie home run record in a season, which was set by 2017 rookie of the year Cody Bellinger, Alonso’s 40 long balls and the evolution of his clutch gene has helped keep the Mets not only above water, but thriving and surviving in the NL.

Tatis Jr., similar to Vlad Jr., had the hype train surrounding him for a while now, and his entrance into the MLB saw similar press coverage. For the Padres, their stout farm system has produced many youthful players with more on the way, so he fits perfectly into the long-term plans that the Friars have to become successful yet again.

Mike Soroka has been a pleasant surprise for the upstart Atlanta Braves, and his performance this season netted him an appearance in this year’s Mid Summer Classic, a note that not many rookies can say they have achieved. A product of the Braves’ fantastic farm system and player development program, Soroka looks to be right on time to help this team forget about their 2018 playoff struggles and get this team back to their glory days.

The only question in this league’s race is how much Alonso will win by and if he will become a unanimous winner.