As the old saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work. But when a star player rises to the occasion, the whole league notices. Plus, their impacts can ignite a spark for the rest of the team and help lead to victory. This, however, does not only apply to veteran players. Ever so often, a rookie dominates on the point of attack and becomes the talk of the league.
The Game Haus will be taking a look at who each MVP and Rookie of the Year is in 2018 for each team. This begins with teams of the American League East.
Team MVPs: Boston Red Sox
Team MVP: Mookie Betts, Right Fielder
Yes, J.D. Martinez leads the team in home runs and the entire league in RBI’s. Numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole story. Mookie Betts is a danger from both the plate and the outfield.
Aside from his plethora of milestones, Betts is the league leader in batting average this season. His 26 home runs and 58 RBIs are also impressive. In the outfield, Betts has earned Golden Gloves from each of his last two seasons. It seems that the sky’s the limit for the 25-year-old right fielder.
Team Rookie of the Year: Hector Velazquez, RHP
There aren’t many 29-year-old rookies in professional sports, let alone Major League Baseball. But Hector Velazquez has created huge waves from the pitcher’s mound. This season, Velazquez currently a 7-0 pitching record, along with a 2.57 ERA. Plus, he is one of just three rookie pitchers with zero losses this season (Jessie Biddle of ATL & Dan Winkler of ATL).
Team MVPs: New York Yankees
Team MVP: Aaron Judge, Right Fielder
He may be on the DL, but Aaron Judge has no doubt picked up where he left off last season. Prior to his injury, Judge led the New York Yankees in home runs (26) and has tallied 61 RBIs. Plus, he has posted a .328 batting average in his last 15 outings.
These numbers may not be team leaders in the next few days. It just goes to show what kind of presence he commands when he’s healthy. The Pinstripes are also hurting pretty badly without him.
Team Rookie of the Year: Gleyber Torres, Second Baseman
At age 21, Gleyber Torres has become a leading candidate for AL Rookie of the Year. Torres has helped himself to 18 home runs and 52 RBIs this season. He and Miguel Andujar are just a few young guns that will come in handy for the Yankees down the line. As for Torres, he is in the midst of a slump for the plate at the moment. But if he can shake it off, the “AL Rookie of the Award” award is as good as his.
Team MVPs: Tampa Bay Rays
Team MVP: Blake Snell, LHP
The Tampa Bay season has been dreary at most times. But pitcher, Blake Snell, has been one significant bright spot in 2018.
Snell boasts a 12-5 record from the mound, along with a 2.27 ERA. Snell has not allowed a >3.00 ERA since May. The 25-year-old still has an All-Star snub to deal with, but no doubt he is one of the deadliest young aces in the majors. Tampa Bay should look into keeping Snell a Ray, and start bringing in some help.
Team Rookie of the Year: Ryan Yarbrough, LHP
Ryan Yarbrough is making significant strides in his first year of big league play. He leads all AL rookies in wins with 10 from the mound this season. Yarbrough currently holds a 10-5 record and a 4.24 ERA. Though he doesn’t have the most favorable numbers from a starting pitcher, number 48 does have the makings of an elite ace in the near future. Be on the lookout for Yarbrough in the next few seasons.
Team MVPs: Toronto Blue Jays
Team MVP: Justin Smoak, First Baseman
Justin Smoak has showcased a healthy dose of power and is starting to building heat in recent weeks. In his last seven games, Smoak has belted two home runs and three RBI’s. This brings his season numbers to 17 home runs and 56 RBI’s, which are both bests on the team.
Unfortunately, his power sometimes goes unnoticed by many given the Blue Jays’ standing in the division. Smoak can become one of many pieces to be used in putting a winning season together for 2019.
Team Rookie of the Year: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Second Baseman
Another piece Toronto has to work for the future is rookie second baseman, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Gurriel is turning into a rising force from the batter’s box. In his last 30 games, he has averaged a .339 batting average. Plus, he has belted seven home runs and 22 RBI’s in his 38 games this season. One could imagine the damage potential if he started for more games. Gurriel currently leads all MLB rookies in batting average this season.
Team MVPs: Baltimore Orioles
Team MVP: The fans still attending their home games this season
Baltimore Orioles fans do not have much to look forward to in the remainder of 2018. The Orioles currently boast a 34-79 regular season record. Not to mention, they are 20-35 when playing at home. On top of that, Manny Machado, their leader in most batting categories, is no longer one of their own.
Camden Yards still hosts an average of 20,668 people during home games this season. Though it’s less than half capacity, the dedicated fans who still attend the games earn much-deserved kudos, despite the state of Orioles
Featured image courtesy of Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports
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