With the Houston Astros playing in Minnesota this weekend, and both teams having outstanding rookies on their major league squads, it seems like a good time to look at the AL Rookie of the Year race. There’s only one more month to go in the regular season, so the race is coming down to the wire.
Houston fans already know how great Carlos Correa is because we are wowed night after night by his spectacular fielding and veteran-like plate presence. Yes, we’re biased, but that’s because we’re fans. However, given Correa’s prowess for making highlight reels, fans around the nation are taking notice, too.
Call to the Pen
Correa’s strong play certainly has him in the discussion, however, there are some other players worthy of consideration from a class that Bleacher Report ranks as second best overall in the past 25 years. Cutoff: any rookie hitter with 250 at bats (which excludes Miguel Sano) and any pitcher with 75 innings pitched this season.
Even with 150 fewer at bats than Billy Burns (leader among rookies), Carlos Correa is putting up better numbers in many categories than his peers including Slugging Pct, Doubles, Home Runs, Runs Batted In, Walks, and WAR.
Of course there’s also the pitchers, though the comparison to the hitters is not apples to apples.
The pitching candidates don’t look nearly as strong, though Karns, McCullers and Sanchez have put up some very good numbers. Karns has the most innings pitched, and therefore would probably receive more consideration than the other two. His WAR is also better and he’s piled up the strikeouts, though McCullers has a slightly better strikeout ratio per inning.
All things considered, if the season ended today, Carlos Correa looks like he’s the lead dog in the race. Of course, he’ll have to continue playing strong (and there’s no reason to think he won’t) in order to stave off the strong competition from Oakland, Cleveland, and Tampa Bay.
Wouldn’t it be something for the Astros to have their first rookie of the year since 1991?
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