Typically, it is unnecessary to play a full season to win AL Rookie of the Year honors. It helps, of course, but it is not 100 percent necessary. Last year’s winner had just 313 at-bats. But with only 60 regular-season games, there is not much time to make an impression on voters.
However, just because a player is not in the Big Leagues yet doesn’t mean he is out of the running. It just means he better make the most of whatever time he has. That being said, BetMGM.com has odds posted for who could win the AL Rookie of the Year:
2020 AL Rookie of the Year Odds:
- Luis Robert +300
- Jesus Luzardo, Kyle Lewis +500
- Brendan McKay +700
- Casey Mize, Nate Pearson +1000
- Jo Adell +1100
- Evan White +1600
- AJ Puk, Brady Singer, Forrest Whitley +2000
- Wander Franco +2500
- Deivi Garcia, Nick Madrigal, Ryan Mountcastle +4000
- Clarke Schmidt, Logan Gilbert, Sean Murphy +5000
- Bobby Bradley, Bobby Dalbec, Joe Palumbo, Royce Lewis, Vidal Brujan, and Estevan Florial +6000
- Brandon Marsh, Jeter Downs, Justin Dunn, Matt Manning, Nate Jones +8000
MLB’s rookie honors are among the hardest awards to predict, and not just because we do not know just how well they will play once they get promoted out of the minors. That is a factor, of course, but an even more significant factor may be the relative anonymity of even the best minor leaguers.
Not only do they have to prove they belong, but rookies have to play well enough for voters to learn who they are. So—who are these guys?
Kyle Lewis, Luis Robert, and Evan White appear to be the best (or at least most productive) hitters of the bunch. Among AL rookies, they are No. 1, 2, and 3 in at-bats (48,46, and 44). But while Lewis and Robert are No. 1 and 2 in batting average (.375 and .370), White is struggling to make contact (.114).
Lewis is leading the pack in home runs (three), RBI (nine), and OPS (1.006). He also happens to be second in strikeouts (19); White is first (20).
Among pitchers, Jesus Luzardo is off to a good start. With three appearances, including one start, he has pitched in 11 2/3 innings, earned a 2.31 ERA, and recorded 12 strikeouts. Nate Pearson did well in his one start for Toronto (five innings, two hits, no earned runs, and five strikeouts).
Many guys have played okay or just plain bad, which will not get them on anyone’s ballot. They do have time to turn things around, though. As for the guys who have not been called up yet, they still have enough time to have an award-worthy impact.
So—who should you bet on?
For this award, the smart thing to do would be to go with someone who is playing almost every day, if not every day, especially if he is playing well. That applies best to Kyle Lewis. But if you want to roll the dice on someone with longer odds, go with Jo Addell.
Adell hasn’t done much yet. But he was on many watchlists heading into the year, and now that he has been called up, he is supposed to be an everyday player. He will have the opportunity to earn the award and has the skills to make it happen. He could be the key to the Angels possibly taking the AL West.
If you wait, though, his +1100 are going to get real short, real fast.