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. The American League features a few guys who have shown the potential of being future superstars. Here are the AL Rookie of the Year rankings for June.
Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Rangers
Josh Jung has shown some incredible power as well as a knack for base hits through his first 200 at-bats in his career. He ranks fifth in the entire American League in slugging percentage, not just including rookies. He also currently leads AL rookies in home runs, RBIs, and runs scored. Josh Jung, the hitter, has been a sight to see this year as he continues to hold down the hot corner on one of the best teams in the MLB.
The Texas Rangers have completely turned their team around this season. This is in part due to the play of Jung. Jung sits in the middle of their lineup as he has solidified himself as one of the team’s biggest power threats. The continued development of Jung is crucial for his odds to win this award. He was the best AL rookie in the month of May. He’ll need to continue this hot streak in order to win this award.
Bryce Miller, RHP, Seattle Mariners
W-L Record: 3-2
Innings Pitched: 36.00
There haven’t been many pitchers in recent history that have made their debuts and took over the baseball world quite like Bryce Miller has done this year with the Mariners. Miller has flashed All-Star potential, especially through his first five starts in the MLB. In those 5 starts, he allowed just 4 earned runs, 13 hits, and 3 walks, which left him with an ERA just above 1 and a WHIP around 0.50.
These are ridiculous numbers. But there’s a big elephant in the room when talking about Bryce Miller. His most recent start against the Yankees. He got roughed up for 11 hits and 8 earned runs, the first time this season that he’s looked human. The Mariners remain confident that he will bounce back to the pitcher he was before the start. He is going to have to ride his electric fastball, which ranks in the 98th percentile in spin, to bounce back from this start.
Masataka Yoshida, LF, Boston Red Sox
Masataka Yoshida is a 29-year-old rookie from Japan. This age and previous professional baseball experience has allowed him to be classified as a rookie, yet have a head start on his peers in development, maturity, and experience. These traits have allowed him to hit above .300 on his young MLB rookie season.
Yoshida has shown a good ability to barrel baseballs, using all fields to do so. He is incredibly hard to get to swing and miss and even harder to strike out. These two attributes point towards a continued growth in the game, rather than regression. If he is able to continue to grow with his game as the season goes on, he can cement himself as the best rookie in the American League.
Prediction: Bryce Miller, RHP, Seattle Mariners
If this seems like a hot take, that’s because it is. The obvious answer here seems to be Yoshida. He has the experience and maturity that it takes to continue to compete at the major league level. But even after getting roughed up by the Yankees, Miller has still looked incredible. His statistics don’t look like they suffered, which truly goes to show how dominant he’s been before that start. This award is going to take some work for Miller to win. He’s not the favorite as of now but expect Bryce Miller to get up from this bad start and show why he’s such a dominant rookie. He will dominate the rest of 2023 and win this award.
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