The Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year winners will be announced on November 11th and there are great finalists for both leagues. In the American League you have OF Yordan Alvarez (Houston Astros), 2B Brandon Lowe (Tampa Bay Rays), and SP John Means (Baltimore Orioles). The National League will be represented by 1B Pete Alonso (New York Mets), SP Mike Soroka (Atlanta Braves), and SS Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego Padres). Below you will find the stats of each finalist and our predictions at the end.
American League Finalists
OF Yordan Alvarez-Houston Astros
Yordan Alvarez played a very important role in the Houston Astros this season that ended up in a World Series appearance. Alvarez debuted on June 9th and appeared in 87 games, and was immediately slotted into the middle of the lineup. The 27 HR’s that Alvarez hit weren’t much of a surprise but the sustaining of a .313 average was. You couple that with his .412 OBP and 78 RBI’s you can see why Alvarez is a finalist. There are not many instances in which a players first experience in the majors result in becoming a staple in the middle of the lineup but that is exactly what Alvarez did.
2B Brandon Lowe-Tampa Bay Rays
Brandon Lowe saw some time last year but was able to stick around after improving his contact rate and adding a little more pop. His versatility also helped as he played second base, first base, and both corner outfield positions. Lowe was able to hit 17 HR’s this year with 42 Runs to go with 51 RBI’s. Without Lowes’ contributions Tampa Bay may have missed out on the playoffs and push the Astros to a game 5 in the ALDS.
SP John Means-Baltimore Orioles
John Means was on of the bright spots on an otherwise gloomy season for the Orioles. Means was the best starter that Baltimore trotted out there this season and started an impressive 27 games in his rookie season. The win-loss record doesn’t tell the whole story for Means. His 3.60 ERA and 1.13 WHIP should of propelled him to a better record but he got saddled with some bad luck losses which will happen when your team loses 108 games. Means doesn’t strike out a ton of batters but he does have the highest WAR of the three Rookie of the Year candidates.
1B Pete Alonso-New York Mets
Pete Alonso completed one of the strongest rookie campaigns in baseball history. He broke the single season record for HR’s in a season with 53, and finished the season with an outstanding 120 RBI’s. The 53 HR’s not only broke the rookie record but also led all of Major League Baseball. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alonso finishes fourth or fifth in the National League MVP race along with is top three finish in the ROY race.
SP Mike Soroka-Atlanta Braves
Mike Soroka was one of the biggest surprises in 2019 and was key for the Atlanta Braves playoff run. Soroka finished the season with an impressive 2.68 ERA, which was good for third in the NL. With a 13-4 record, Soroka quickly turned into the Braves ace with a 1.11 WHIP that was good for tenth in the NL. With a solid season now under his belt, Soroka may even garner some CY Young votes.
SS Fernando Tatis Jr.-San Diego Padres
Fernando Tatis Jr. was one of the highest rated prospects coming into the season and didn’t disappoint once he was called up. Tatis is a five-tool player that you don’t normally see at the SS position. If not for some injury trouble this would’ve been a ROY race like one we haven’t seen in a while. The future is bright for Tatis and with that the Padres as well.
American League Rookie of the Year
- Yordan Alvarez
- John Means
- Brandon Lowe
National League Rookie of the year
- Pete Alonso
- Mike Soroka
- Fernando Tatis Jr.