American League Rookie of the Year Odds

The Best of the American League Rookies 

Of all the baseball awards, the Rookie of the Year is probably the most democratic. In general, little else other than basic stats–and now advanced stats–goes into the decision-making process. The award actually named the Jackie Robinson Award, is given to the player who had the most outstanding first year. It can be awarded to positional players or pitchers, starters or relievers, even designated hitters. The success and status of the player’s team is of little consequence in the voting whereas it can be much more so for MVP or Cy Young awards.

Some of the game’s greatest players have opened their careers with Rookie of the Year awards and have gone on to be enshrined in Cooperstown. Derek Jeter who will be welcomed to the Hall of Fame this summer won the award in his rookie campaign in 1996. Other AL ROTY HoFers are Cal Ripken, Jr. (1982), Eddie Murray (1977), Carlton Fisk (1972), Rod Carew (1967), and Luis Aparicio (1956). Among more recent Robinson Award winner on a Hall of Fame track are Ichiro Suzuki (2001), Justin Verlander (2006), and Mike Trout (2012).  

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Maybe Not Hall of Famers, but Other AL Rookie of the Years Have Had Serviceable Career 

In many other cases, Rookies of the Year go on to have well-known baseball careers, like Tony Oliva (1964), Mark Fidrych (1976), and Sandy Alomar, Jr. (1990). And sometimes the outstanding rookie season was just a blip on the radar of an otherwise forgettable baseball resumé. Jeremy Hellickson won the award in 2011 with a 13-10 record and a sub 3.00 ERA in 29 games for the Tampa Bay Rays; he has hung around the game for ten years with a 76-75 career record and a 4.13 ERA in 232 appearances.

Andrew Bailey was Oakland’s star rookie closer in 2009, sporting 26 saves to go with a 6-3 record; he had two more strong seasons with the A’s in an 8-year career with 94 total saves and a 16-14 record. Hammerin’ Bob Hamelin slugged 24 homers and 65 RBIs and a .987 OPS in 101 games for the 1994 Royals; five years later, he was out of the game, a career slash line of .246/67/209.  

Kyle Lewis Takes Home AL Rookie Of The Year Award

This past season, Seattle’s Kyle Lewis was unanimously selected as the American League Rookie of the Year in 2020. In 206 at-bats this season, Lewis recorded 54 hits for 11 Home Runs and 28 RBIs. In the end, he finished the year with a batting average of .262, an OBP of .364, and a Slugging Percentage of .437. These incredible numbers earned Lewis the 2020 AL ROTY award.

The victory means that the Mariners have had four players named Rookie of the Year in franchise history. Lewis joins Alvin Davis, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and Ichiro Suzuki as the only other players in Seattle history to win the MLB Rookie of the Year award. Lewis becomes the first Mariner to win the award since Ichiro did it in 2001.

Kyle Lewis became the 13th player to unanimously win the award. The other players to be unanimously named AL Rookie of the Year include Carlton Fisk, Mark McGwire, Sandy Alomar Jr., Tim Salmon, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, Evan Longoria, Mike Trout, Jose Abreu, Aaron Judge, and Yordan Alvarez.

Which Players Should Have the Best AL Rookie of the Year Odds In 2021?

Here are some of the early favorites to win the Rookie of the Year award in 2021 according to MLB.com:

Ryan Mountcastle, OF/1B, Baltimore Orioles
Triston McKenzie, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Bobby Dalbec, 1B/3B, Boston Red Sox
Nick Madrigal, 2B, Chicago White Sox
Dane Dunning, RHP, Chicago White Sox