Although much attention in Major League Baseball goes to current superstar players or who will win the World Series, these are not the only things it has to keep fans entertained with. The annual Rookie of the Year race is also a favorite with followers of the sport, and something which adds extra spice to any season.
2022 is no different, and the battle for Rookie of the Year in the National and American Leagues is heating up. But which players might have a chance of winning it this season?
What do the odds tell us for MLB Rookie of the Year?
A good place to start is definitely looking at the latest Rookie of the Year odds in MLB. By seeing who is being tipped by industry experts to take the award, baseball fans get a quick and accurate way to see who is in the running themselves.
Two hot favorites for the American League title currently are Jeremey Pena and Julio Rodriguez. For the National League award, it seems almost certain to go to one of Mackenzie Gore, Nolan Gorman or Seiya Suzuki.
But why do these players have a shot at winning this prestigious title?
American League Rookie of the Year – Rodriguez and Pena shine
While the health benefits of playing baseball help attract people to participate in it, awards such as Rookie of the Year help the sport attract lots of loyal fans. When it comes to the AL Rookie of the Year, it looks to be a two horse race between the Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez and the Astros’ Jeremey Pena.
Rodriguez is the hot favorite so far and has really come on since a relatively slow start for Seattle. At one point previously, he was hotter than the sun and this is when people really started to take notice of him. Seven home runs in 56 games currently aligns with a .270 batting average to show what an impressive player he is. With AL Rookie of the Month for May in his back pocket and a strong defensive side to his game in center field, he is a solid choice.
Jeremy Pena of the Astros is also having a pretty decent first MLB season. He has done a great job of stepping in for Carlos Correa and has eight home runs, 25 RBIs plus a .277 batting average to date. He also wowed fans by going hitless just three times in 22 games during May. If he can maintain this kind of form during the rest of 2022, he looks to have a real chance.
National League Rookie of the Year – Gore, Gorman and Suzuki to battle it out
At one point earlier in the 2022 MLB season, Seiya Suzuki looked to be a runaway leader in the NL Rookie of the Year race. After his $85m, 5-year move to the Cubs from Japan, this elite-level outfielder started the season on fire. He hit his first home run in early April, grabbed a Player of the Week title in the same month and was named Rookie of the Month in the NL for April. It has quieted down somewhat for him since then though, with the runs drying up in May and an injured finger curtailing his playing time.
This has left the door open for a couple of his NL rivals to make their presence felt in the race for top National League rookie. Mackenzie Gore is certainly one to remember and actually heads up the betting currently. His performance against the Pirates showed why, as he achieved nine strikeouts plus only two hits against him over seven shutouts. A current ERA of 1.50 and his arsenal of fiery deliveries only adds to the buzz around him.
Nolan Gorman of the Cardinals is also in contention it seems and has made a smooth transition to Major League baseball. Full of pure, awesome power and hard hitting, Gorman’s four for four performance against the Brewers earlier in the year also included his first ML home run.
Rookie of the Year set to be an exciting race
There is no doubt that Rookie of the Year is an award which many baseball fans love to keep tabs on. Whether it is in the AL or NL, it is the ideal way to get an early glimpse of tomorrow’s superstars and also increases the interest in following baseball. As the above shows, the race in 2022 across both leagues is set to be a close one.