MLB Rookie of the Year Watch: Bellinger, Judge set home run records

By Seth McCaskill

Sports Blogger

@sethmcasil29

 

National League

Cody Bellinger, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers, .272 AVG, 39 HR, 94 RBI, .950 OPS

(Stadium Bound/Flickr)

Cody Bellinger put the icing on his Rookie of the Year cake this past week, as he set the National League record for home runs as a rookie, surpassing Frank Robinson and Wally Berger. On top of that, he is closing in on 100 RBIs, and his .950 OPS is second in the NL. He has a good as case as imaginable.

Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates, .250 AVG, 24 HR, 83 RBI, .787 OPS

Josh Bell has somewhat tailed off down the stretch of the season, hitting .178 to go along with a .492 OPS in September. He should still finish the season with solid numbers for a rookie, and the Pirates will look for him to regain the form he had in August, when he hit .323 with four home runs.

Rhys Hoskins, LF, Philadelphia Phillies, .271 AVG, 18 HR, 46 RBI, 1.065 OPS

It has been a similar story for breakout star Rhys Hoskins, as he has struggled mightily in his past few games, hitting .135 in that stretch and dropping his season average from .314 to .271. There are still a lot of things for the Phillies to be happy about with Hoskins’ performance, as he has shown the type of power that is not seen often.

 

American League

Aaron Judge, RF, New York Yankees, .283 AVG, 50 HR, 108 RBI, 1.038 OPS

It appears Aaron Judge will have obliterated the rookie home run record by the time he is finished this season, as he hit his 50th Monday to break Mark McGwire’s mark. He has also gotten himself back into the MVP conversation, which is pretty remarkable considering his massive second-half slump that he has broken out of. Not only will he win the Rookie of the Year, Judge might be the greatest rookie of all time.

Andrew Benintendi, LF, Boston Red Sox, .276 AVG, 20 HR, 89 RBI, 19 SB, .794 OPS

As the Red Sox push towards the playoffs, Andrew Benintendi will be heavily relied upon to possibly lead them to another world championship and should not be overlooked in this rookie class. Although having nowhere near the insane numbers of Judge, the rookie left fielder has had a quietly solid year and is a wonderful building block in Bean Town.

Trey Mancini, LF, Baltimore Orioles, .293 AVG, 24 HR, 78 RBI, .829 OPS

Trey Mancini has continued to be the least talked about breakout star, as he is third among all rookies in OPS, only behind the two other-worldly stars. As with any young player on a noncontending team, the best thing for the Orioles is that he continues to improve, and considering the way he has played this year, any improvement could elevate him to elite status.

ozone@ocolly.com

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