We looked at the top five possibilities for the American League Rookie of the Year Award in last week’s Prospect Watch. This week, we’ll turn our attention to the National League and repeat the process. Let us remind you of two things before we get into the meat of the matter: The players are listed in the order in which they are expected to finish; however, this is only a snapshot in time, and things could change between now and the end of the season.
Will anyone be able to catch Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds for the National League Rookie of the Year Award?
Jonathan India, 2B, Reds
India got off to a rocky start this season, with an OPS of under.700 in the first two months. Since then, he’s been on a four-month tear, hitting.288/.397/.512 in 91 games with 17 home runs and 25 doubles. He’s kept a calm demeanour throughout, which explains why the Reds have used him as their leadoff hitter since June. Furthermore, his swing rate of 39% and chase rate of 21% are lower than Joey Votto’s (44% and 22%), despite the fact that Votto is known for his disciplined approach. India has the highest Wins Above Replacement of any NL rookie, and he appears to be the clear favourite to win the award.
Trevor Rogers, LHP, Marlins
Rogers would have been in the catbird seat if the season had concluded on Aug. 1. He’d pitched to a 2.45 ERA in 20 starts, with 89 more strikeouts than walks in 110 innings. Regrettably, Rogers had to skip the entire month of August to help his father after his COVID-stricken mother was placed on a ventilator. Rogers was able to return to the Marlins rotation in early September after a successful recovery. Rogers’ priorities are clearly in the proper order, and he should be applauded for that. Close award races are frequently dictated by playing time, and this element benefits India.
Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves
Carlson is ranked No. 3 because of his playing time, which puts him ahead of Ian Anderson, another promising young starter. Carlson has played in over 90% of the Cardinals’ games this season, batting.259/.340/.411 (110 OPS+) in the process. Anderson, on the other hand, was out for more than a month due to a shoulder injury. Carlson hasn’t been outstanding — his Baseball Savant page has a lot more blue than you’d expect from a player of his calibre — but he’s been consistent. That is significant. Anderson, on the other hand, has struggled with his command all season. Despite the time off, he’s walked four or more batters in five outings, which is tied for eighth most in the majors. Despite this, Anderson has maintained a 122 ERA+, and it’s likely that he may overtake Carlson due to his greater impact.
Patrick Wisdom, 3B, Cubs
Other candidates for this position are St. Louis shortstop Edmundo Sosa and Miami second baseman Jazz Chisholm. Wisdom, the ever-rare 30-year-old freshman, gets the nod due of his outstanding power exhibition. With 25 home runs, he was tied for third in the majors among rookies, four behind Texas’ Adolis Garca, who had had almost 220 more plate appearances. Perhaps Wisdom will be penalised for his (relative) seniority or playing time. Regardless, he deserves some flowers for making the Cubs’ latest rebuilding process a little more bearable.
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