With the season being two-thirds completed, it is time to begin looking into the award races.
Major League baseball is stocked full of young talent, so winning the coveted Rookie of the Year award is a great accolade for a promising young player to have. Past winners include the likes of Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun, Mike Trout, and Bryce Harper. So who gets the hardware this Season?
American League Rookie of the Year
Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox First Baseman
The mouth will lie, the eyes wont. Jose Abreu is on a record pace with his performance thus far. He leads all of baseball with 29 home runs entering Monday and is on pace to be only the second rookie ever to eclipse 40 home runs in their initial season in the big leagues. The only other rookie to do it was Mark Mcgwire who smashed 49 long balls in 1987.
Abreu aka the “Cuban Cannon” is a stat sheet stuffer. He is currently hoisting a .294 batting average while also being in the top 5 in the Majors in slugging percentage and RBI’s.
When White Sox GM Rick Hahn signed Abreu from Cuba this past winter, the scouts said the only knock against the kid was his defense. When you actually watch Abreu play in person, you would think that those scouts ought to be drug tested for making such remarks. Jose Abreu can absolutely throw the leather down as evident to him only commiting three errors all season long.
A close second place to claiming Rookie of the Year in the AL is New York Yankees’ starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka who has been a victim of the injury bug as of late. Tanaka has been lights out on the mound all season long. Despite his stellar play, Tanaka has “no idea” whether he will pitch again this season. If he doesn’t, Abreu will run away with this award.
Also George Springer deserves a mention here as a contender as well, but he is a definite underdog.
National League Rookie of the Year
Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds Outfielder
The National League race for the Rookie of the Year is not nearly as competitive as the American League’s. The one player that is head over heals better than his competition is Cincinati’s Billy Hamilton.
Billy Hamilton is the definition of a speed demon. He is third in all of baseball in stolen bases and has stolen 20 more bases than the next closest rookie. Not to mention Hamilton plays great Center field and will catch any ball that falls into his zone.
Durability is another one of Hamilton’s strengths as he leads all rookies with 93 games played this year. He also ranks second among all rookies in runs and hits, behind only, you guessed it Jose Abreu.