The MLB Rookie of the Year award is given out to the best performing first year player from each league at the end of every regular season. There are a ton of exciting names at the top of the American League Rookie of the Year ladder. Here is the AL Rookie of the Year watch: July.
Jeremy Pena, SS, Houston Astros
JEREMY PENA CALLED GAME‼️ pic.twitter.com/shh3W3zR6P
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 3, 2022
Jeremy Pena has been quite a surprise in the Astros lineup this year. He is tabbed as the Astros top prospect, so the production is expected. But it wasn’t expected this soon. He is just 24 years old, as he was drafted 4 years ago at the age of 20. He made his debut this year, unlike many Rookie of the Year candidates, who get a bit of an introduction to the MLB the year before their qualified rookie year. Pena is above average in the MLB in xSLG, Barrel%, and Max Exit Velocity. He also ranks in the 97th percentile in sprint speed and Outs Above Average. He has shown a tremendous ability to hit fastballs and to hit with power. His production should continue through the rest of the year.
Julio Rodriguez, CF, Seattle Mariners
Julio Rodriguez ranks among qualified AL rookies:
14 HR (1st)
41 RBI (1st)
20 SB (1st)
.820 OPS (1st)
.483 SLG (1st)
83 hits (1st)
32 XBH (t-1st)
45 runs (1st)
145 total bases (1st)
134 wRC+ (1st)
2.6 fWAR (1st) pic.twitter.com/U0DuaSMTf8
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) July 4, 2022
Julio Rodriguez is truly a special talent. His ability to hit to all fields, with power, is almost unheard of for somebody of his age and experience. The young man is just 21 years old. He is among the MLBs best in Avg. Exit Velocity, Max Exit Velocity, Barrel%, HardHit%, Sprint Speed, and Outs Above Average. His talent is truly remarkable. He records a “hard hit”, as defined by Statcast, in 49.5% of his total at-bats. One of his biggest flaws is his strikeout percentage, already having struck out 94 times this year. Rodriguez is expected to be in consideration for an All-Star appearance, as a reserve, in this years MLB All-Star Game. That would be quite an accomplishment for the 21 year old phenom.
Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Kansas City Royals
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 6, 2022
Bobby Witt Jr. was one of the highest touted rookies in recent history. He is among the best, highest ranked prospects in the entire MLB. Witt was drafted just 3 years ago and is just 22 years old. Bobby Witt Jr. ranks 1st among all MLB players in sprint speed this season, with a 30.5 ft/sec sprint speed. One struggle for Witt has been the high pitch. He hits below .200 is all 3 of the zones in the upper half of the strike zone. He has recorded 5 tripes and 12 stolen bases, both among the best in the entire MLB. His potential is incredible. There are no signs that point to Bobby Witt Jr. slowing down in the second half of the year. He should heat up after the All-Star break.
Prediction: Julio Rodriguez, OF, Seattle Mariners
This decision wasn’t very difficult. Julio Rodriguez has been the best rookie in the American League for a good majority of the year this season. He has the potential to produce quite a special 2022 rookie season. He ranks first among qualified AL rookies in HR, RBI, SB, OPS, SLG, hits, XBH, runs scored, and WAR. This amount of statistical dominance is just too much for the voters to look past. Barring an unfortunate injury, Julio Rodriguez is the AL Rookie of the Year this season, and he would win the award in a landslide.
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