MLB Rookie of the Year Watch: Bellinger, Judge wait patiently

By Seth McCaskill

Sports Blogger

@sethmcasil29

 

National League

Cody Bellinger, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers, .275 AVG, 38 HR, 88 RBI, .958 OPS

It appears that Cody Bellinger is slightly more human than Aaron Judge, but we can’t be certain. He has been unbelievable as a rookie on one of the best teams in baseball, posting a .950-plus OPS and threatening the 40 and 100 RBI plateaus. Although the Rookie of the Year award has been decided for a while, you can’t help but be baffled at Bellinger’s unbelievable raw power, and his mature approach at the plate is unheard of at his age.

 

Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates, .254 AVG, 24 HR, 83 RBI, .797 OPS

Bell has been a bit of a slump recently, but he still has a fairly impressive stat line that he can build on. With the Pirates’ record going downhill the past few seasons, they have started to rely more on younger players, and Bell is one of them. Whenever the rebuild is complete, he should be a key player in getting his team back in the playoff picture.

 

Rhys Hoskins, LF, Philadelphia Phillies, .299 AVG, 18 HR, 43 RBI, 1.167 OPS

We are still waiting for Hoskins to become a human and slow down the ridiculous pace he is on, as he continues to tear the cover off the ball. His OPS has taken a slight dip but is still astronomical, and he has hit two more home runs and tacked on nine RBIs. You can’t help but wonder how much different this conversation might have been if Hoskins would have played a full season.

 

American League

Aaron Judge, RF, New York Yankees, .277 AVG, 45 HR, 101 RBI, 1.003 OPS

(Keith Allison/Flickr)

It’s not as if The Judge needed to do much of anything in the last few weeks to win the Rookie of the Year, but he has done some more anyways. He has hit four homers and driven in 11 runs in the past week, including a six-RBI performance last Wednesday. Only six Major League players have at least a 1.000 OPS, and Judge is one of them. That should be all you need to know to understand his chances, and he now has two weeks to hit five more home runs and break Mark McGwire’s rookie record.

 

Andrew Benintendi, LF, Boston Red Sox, .278 AVG, 19 HR, 87 RBI, 19 SB, .792 OPS

Andrew Benintendi had a solid week to keep himself the closest to within shouting distance of Judge, though it would still be difficult for Benintendi to shout loud enough. He is on a pretty good run at the moment, driving in eight runs during the past week and getting his OPS a little bit closer to .800, and he is still the best defender of this rookie class.

 

Trey Mancini, LF, Baltimore Orioles, .291 AVG, 24 HR, 77 RBI, .833 OPS

Not much has changed for Trey Mancini since last week, as he is still on the outside looking in as Judge soars toward the finish line. His inaugural campaign cannot be overlooked, however, as he is an advanced hitter for his age, and the Orioles are looking at a great piece for the future.

ozone@ocolly.com

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