MLB Rookie of the Year Watch: Bellinger, Judge still on top

By Trevor Smith

Sports Blogger

@trevor_smith20

 

National League

Cody Bellinger, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers: .273 average, 34 home runs, 79 RBIs

(Arturo Pardavila III, Flickr)

Cody Bellinger looks to become the second straight Dodger to win Rookie of the Year. Bellinger has been on a tear this season with 34 home runs and a .965 OPS to help the Dodgers take a commanding lead in the NL West. He has taken the league by storm with his consistent play, including a .273 batting average, as well as 79 RBIs. Bellinger has a comfortable lead in the award race, but he will need to continue his stellar play if the Dodgers want a shot at the World Series.

Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates: .262 average, 23 home runs, 77 RBIs

Josh Bell has been the one shining moment in an all but disappointing season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, for they are basically eliminated from postseason play barring a miracle. Bell has quietly caught the attention of everyone this season with his consistent play and leadership on a subpar Pirates team. However, he has shown off his power in chunks, for he has 23 home runs and 77 RBI’s so far. Bell; however, has been a liability in the field at times with nine errors. He will need to polish up his fielding and continue his strong play at the plate if he has any chance of catching Bellinger.

Hunter Renfroe, RF, San Diego Padres: .230 average, 20 home runs, 47 RBIs

Hunter Renfroe has shown glimpses of greatness this season for the Padres. Renfroe has been inconsistent all season but has all the tools to be good, including power at the plate, shown by his 20 home runs. He has also contributed 47 RBIs and is boasting a .230 average at the plate. It is highly unlikely that Renfroe catches Bellinger, but he can end the season on a high note if he can find some consistency.

American League

Aaron Judge, RF, New York Yankees: .280 average, 37 home runs, 82 RBIs

Aaron Judge’s power has caught the attention of everyone this season, as he’s been crushing balls all season for the Yankees. Judge has tallied 57 extra-base hits while boasting a .280 average. However, Judge leads the league in strikeouts with 176 which makes his .990 OPS even more impressive than it already is. Judge has been a key part of the Yankees resurgence to baseballs elite. He will look to make waves in the upcoming postseason as the Yankees prepare themselves for another World Series run.

Andrew Benintendi, LF, Boston Red Sox: .275 average, 18 home runs, 72 RBIs

Andrew Benintendi, former seventh overall pick, has been key in the Red Sox’s push for another AL East crown. Benintendi has gone on a tear since the beginning of August with a .320 average after posting a mere .220 average in July. He has been a Houdini on the base paths with 18 stolen bases on 21 attempts. He exploded for six home runs in August, which helped Boston take control of the AL East. Benintendi will need to hit an even bigger stride during the last month of the season if he wants any chance of catching Judge.

Matt Davidson, DH, Chicago White Sox: .237 average, 23 home runs, 55 RBIs

Matt Davidson has been the only bright spot in the White Sox organization this year. Davidson is in his second stint in the league after debuting with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 11, 2013. He has been the one real piece of offense for the White Sox, notching 23 home runs and 55 RBIs in 92 games. However, his stellar start has been derailed because of a bruised right wrist injury suffered Aug. 1 against the Blue Jays. Davidson should return from his rehab stint soon, as he tries to finish out the season on a high note.

ozone@ocolly.com

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