May 21, 2024

Ranking the top 10 rookies in the American League, an early ROY race no one expected

In spring coaching, most analysts predicted the top three American Leagues rookies this 12 months can be Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jackson Holliday and Texas Rangers outfielders Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford. Holliday was dubbed the greatest prospect in baseball, Langford was placing collectively the greatest spring coaching of any rookie (.365 batting common, six homers, 20 RBIs), and Carter was coming off a glowing debut in 2023 that included being a worthwhile postseason contributor for Texas and hitting third, as a 21-year-old, in its world championship lineup. Langford, who had jumped from rookie ball to Triple A in ’23 after being drafted fourth general, was my preseason pick to win AL Rookie of the Year.

Fast ahead to May 9 and Holliday is again in the minors after going 2-for-34 in the majors, Carter is batting .218, and Langford is on the injured checklist with a hamstring pressure after struggling early in his big-league profession, with simply one house run (an inside-the-park job) in 116 at-bats. Now, I gained’t be stunned if this proficient trio is at the top of the AL rookie class in September, however manufacturing trumps potential in Rookie of the Year races.

Instead of the preseason favorites, the greatest AL rookie has been Mason Miller, the Oakland A’s sensational nearer. Other top AL rookies have included pitchers Luis Gil of the New York Yankees, (*10*) of the Minnesota Twins and Cooper Criswell of the Boston Red Sox, together with outfielders Colton Cowser of the Orioles and Wilyer Abreu of the Red Sox.

With six weeks of the season in the books, let’s take inventory of the Rookie of the Year races. Obviously, we’re coping with small samples. These rankings will change: Some rookies will catch hearth, others will wrestle; some prospects will impress after call-ups and a few lesser-known names will wow. But right here’s my early rating of the top 10 AL rookies primarily based on efficiency to this point. (Check again for the NL rookie rankings on Friday.)

1. Mason Miller, RHP, Oakland A’s

Age: 25
Height: 6-5 Weight: 200

He’s been the greatest nearer in MLB, with wit and a humorousness unmatched. He’s transformed all eight of his save alternatives and achieved it in type, flinging 103 mph fastballs. He’s logged a 1.10 ERA and 0.67 WHIP in 13 appearances, averaging 18.18 strikeouts per 9 innings. His hard-hit price, xERA, xBA, fastball velocity, whiff proportion and strikeout price are all the greatest in baseball.

2. Colton Cowser, LF, Baltimore Orioles

Age: 24
Bats: L Throws: R
Height: 6-2 Weight: 220

Although many analysts had been virtually handing the AL Rookie of the Year Award to Holliday, his teammate Cowser, the fifth general decide in the 2021 MLB Draft, has been the Orioles’ greatest rookie to start out the 12 months. Cowser leads all rookies in house runs (six) and is in the top three in OPS (.910) and RBIs (20). Among all major-league outfielders, he ranks in the 96th percentile in outs above common (defensive vary) and the 97th percentile in arm energy and barrel price.

3. Luis Gil, RHP, New York Yankees

Age: 25
Height: 6-2 Weight: 185

The Yankees wanted somebody in their rotation to step up when Gerrit Cole went down with an elbow harm. Enter Gil, who had pitched 33 1/3 innings in the majors earlier than this 12 months. The hard-throwing right-hander has electrical arm velocity out entrance with whip motion and athleticism. He leads all rookie pitchers with 45 strikeouts in 37 innings this season and has logged a 2.92 ERA over seven begins. Opposing batters are hitting simply .143 towards him.

Wilyer Abreu makes a leaping catch at the outfield wall. (Dale Zanine / USA Today)

4. Wilyer Abreu, RF, Boston Red Sox

Age: 24
Bats: L Throws: L
Height: 5-10 Weight: 215

Abreu leads all AL rookies with 27 hits and has reached base at a .368 clip. He has a giant arm in proper subject, ranking in the 96th percentile in arm energy, together with plus vary. He’ll draw a stroll and is a brilliant base runner with common velocity. He’s stolen 5 bases in as many makes an attempt.

5. Wenceel Pérez, OF, Detroit Tigers

Age: 24
Bats: B Throws: R
Height: 5-10 Weight: 203

The Tigers expected Colt Keith to be their top rookie after giving him a six-year, $28.6 million contract extension this offseason that may develop to $82 million over 9 years. However, the 22-year-old second baseman is off to a gradual begin this season, hitting simply .162, and it’s been Pérez who has opened eyes. He is hitting .286 with a .366 on-base proportion in the early going. He has a double, two triples and three homers in his first 63 at-bats in the majors. He has solely two stolen bases however ranks in the 84th percentile in dash velocity.

Simeon Woods Richardson recorded a career-high eight strikeouts towards the Mariners on Monday. (Brad Rempel / USA Today)

6. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP, Minnesota Twins

Age: 23
Height: 6-3 Weight: 210

With Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda departing in free company and commerce acquisition Anthony DeSclafani present process season-ending surgical procedure, Woods Richardson has stepped into the Twins rotation and delivered. He’s posted a 1.74 ERA over 4 begins, hanging out 21 and strolling simply 5 in 20 2/3 innings. The former Toronto Blue Jays prospect, who was acquired in the 2021 commerce for José Berríos, is a strike-thrower with well-above-average extension. His handiest pitch has been his wipeout slider; opposing batters are hitting .172 (5-for-29) towards it with solely one extra-base hit.

7. Cooper Criswell, RHP, Boston Red Sox

Age: 27
Height: 6-6 Weight: 200

Criswell, who signed a $1 million deal in the offseason, has been an enchanting story for the Red Sox. He’s put up a 1.74 ERA over 4 begins and one aid look with a .234 batting common towards and 1.06 WHIP. Criswell, who made 10 appearances for the Tampa Bay Rays final season, has a fastball run worth in the 93rd percentile and a stroll price in the eighty fifth percentile. He has above-average extension. He throws his sinking fastball solely 29 % of the time however opposing batters are hitting simply .111 towards it. His sweeper and cutter have been his greatest putaway pitches.

8. Evan Carter, OF, Texas Rangers

Age: 21
Bats: L Throws: R
Height: 6-2 Weight: 190

Carter is off to a gradual begin, slashing .218/.305/.419 with six doubles, two triples, 5 house runs, 15 RBIs and two stolen bases. He ranks in the 97th percentile in dash velocity and the 93rd percentile in chase price. However, breaking balls and changeups are giving him suits. He’s hitting .154 towards breaking balls and .160 towards off-speed choices. Once he figures out how you can hit spin, I anticipate he’ll be flying at or close to the top of those rankings.

9. Ceddanne Rafaela, SS/CF, Boston Red Sox

Age: 23
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 5-9 Weight: 165

The Red Sox love his athleticism and protection at shortstop and in heart subject. Rafaela, who signed an eight-year, $50 million contract extension in April, can throw round the leather-based with the better of them and is Boston’s long-term reply in heart subject. He’s batting simply .213 however has achieved harm with seven doubles, two triples and three house runs. He ranks in the ninetieth percentile in dash velocity however must work on base stealing as he’s been caught 3 times in seven makes an attempt.

10. Wyatt Langford, DH/LF, Texas Rangers

Age: 22
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6-0 Weight: 225

Langford hasn’t lived as much as the lofty expectations early, and now he’s on the IL with a hamstring pressure and never expected to return till someday in June. However, I’m sticking with him as my AL Rookie of the Year pick. He hit .224 with simply three doubles and one homer over his first 129 plate appearances and barely made this top-10 checklist, however brighter days are forward. He ranks in the 98th percentile in dash velocity and has future 30-homer energy.

(Top picture images: Luis Gil: New York Yankees / Getty Images; Mason Miller: Michael Zagaris / Oakland Athletics / Getty Images; Colton Cowser: Daniel Shirey / MLB Photos through Getty Images)