5 Longshots To Win The MLB Rookie Of The Year Award

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If you want to bet on the winners of the two MLB Rookie of the Year Awards (one each for the American and National Leagues) you’ll need to contact your favorite sportsbook for odds. Most sportsbooks do not list odds for Rookie of the Year honors currently. But you may find odds if you do your homework.

Five Rookies Who Could Sneak In To Take Awards Hardware

Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates

Before the season began, Hayes was a ROY fave, but a wrist injury kept him out of the lineup for two months. He’s back now for the lowly Pirates and hitting the ball well. Hayes is the son of former big league infielder Charlie Hayes, and he’s as thick and well-muscled as his dad was, but with more speed and a better arm from their shared position of third base. Seeing as the National League ROY race is wide open, Hayes could get hot over the last three months and still cart away the award.

Yonathan Daza, Rockies

This would be a great story, if Daza somehow won the NL Rookie of the Year. He’s in his 11th season of professional baseball, after being signed by the Rockies when he was 17 years old in Venezuela in 2011. Daza is currently batting .328, a figure which would rank third in the league if he had enough qualifying plate appearances. But the outfielder will get enough PA to be a batting title contender, and he’s hot right now, having a .347 batting average in June, with hits in his last nine games.

The thin air of Colorado is a great place to win a batting title. In their 28 years of existence, the Rockies have had 12 batting titles won by nine different hitters. Daza makes good contact, doesn’t walk much, and he’s playing for the right team to win a silver bat. If he does, he would be hard to keep the Rookie of the Year award from his trophy shelf.

Jazz Chisholm, Marlins

The current frontrunners for the NL Rookie of the Year are Jonathan India of the Reds and Chisholm’s teammate, pitcher Trevor Rogers. But the NL race is pretty wide open, as any rookie who puts together a hot month will put himself into a crowded race.

Chisholm is a quick second baseman who can also loft the baseball out of the park. He has eight homers in fewer than 50 games for Miami. He’s not particularly dazzling at turning the double play, but he has shortstop-type range up the middle. If he gets his batting average up, adds to his homer total, and pushes his way near the top of stolen base leaders in the NL (he’s only five off the pace), he’ll get some consideration for the ROY award.

Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are dreadful and there’s zero chance they are going to play meaningful games after Independence Day. But, they are all in on their young pitching, including Casey Mize, who has been effective the last two months as he gets comfortable in the majors. Mize has a 3.06 ERA in his last ten starts, and he’s churned out eight quality starts in that stretch while never once surrendering more than three earned runs in an outing. His 2.3 Wins Above Replacement leads all rookie pitchers in the AL.

Most WAR, Rookie Pitchers in 2021

  1. Trevor Rogers, Marlins … 2.8
  2. Ian Anderson, Braves … 2.5
  3. Casey Mize, Tigers … 2.3
  4. Luis Garcia, Astros … 1.7
  5. Emmanuel Clase, Indians … 1.4

Mize would most likely need to get his ERA below 2.50 and pitch very well the rest of the way to eclipse ROY frontrunner Adolis Garcia, who has 18 homers for the Blue Jays.

Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays

Franco is listed as the #1 prospect in baseball by many sources, and while those lists can be specious, there is a consensus that the shortstop will be a superstar in the big leagues. The Rays called him up this week, and by the time you read this the Dominican native may already have his first major league hit.

It may seem silly to suggest that a player who doesn’t get called up until June could be Rookie of the Year. But it’s happened before: in 1959, the Giants waited to summon Willie McCovey to the majors until July 30th. Big Mac hit .354 with 13 homers in only 54 games for the G-Men, and was named NL Rookie of the Year, on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

More recently, Ryan Howard (not this one) didn’t enter the Phillies lineup full-time until early July in 2005, yet he went on to earn Rookie of the Year honors when he hit 22 homers and drove in 63 runs in about half a season.

Franco can run, hit, hit for power, and his throwing arm is rated as plus plus plus by most scouts. He has a lot of Barry Larkin in him, though he’s a switch-hitter. This year, in his first season at Triple-A he’s shown no signs of rustiness after not playing during the 2020 pandemic year. He has batted .315 with 24 extra-base hits in 39 games at Durham.

Your Special Baseball Moment Of The Week

Only five years after his historic final season where he led the league in RBIs, slugging, and OPS, David Ortiz has a son who might one day be a star in the majors. 17-year old D’Angelo Ortiz is a junior at Westminster Christian High School in Miami, Florida, where he’s smacking the ball like his famous “Big Papi.”

If Westminster Christian High School sounds familiar, it’s because that’s the same school that produced Alex Rodriguez, as well as Doug Mientkiewicz, who spent a dozen years in the big leagues and was a teammate of David Ortiz on the 2004 World Champion Red Sox.

Outwardly at least, the younger Ortiz is nothing like his famous father. He bats right-handed, is much leaner, and he plays in the field instead of being a designated hitter. He has made it his goal to follow his future Hall of Fame dad into the major leagues. Call him “Little Papi.”

About the Author
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Writer and Contributor
Dan Holmes is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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