Rookie of the Year candidates 2023

MLB witnessed an unusually strong rookie class in 2022. Julio Rodríguez became the quickest player ever to reach 25 homers and 25 steals while Michael Harris II posted the third-highest WAR (5.3, per Baseball-Reference) of any rookie age 21 or younger in the last 40 years.

And that’s just the two Rookie of the Year winners. Adley Rutschman finished second among all MLB catchers in bWAR (5.2) despite not debuting until late May because of a triceps injury. Bobby Witt Jr. became the second-youngest rookie to post 20 homers and 30 steals. Spencer Strider became the fastest pitcher ever to attain 200 strikeouts in a season. Six-foot-7 Oneil Cruz not only became the tallest shortstop in big league history but also seemed to break Statcast on a nightly basis.

- Advertisement -

We could go on, but instead we’re going to shift our focus to the future and identify each team’s leading Rookie of the Year candidate for 2023:

Orioles: Gunnar Henderson, SS/3B (No. 1/MLB No. 2)
We couldn’t have a list of ROY candidates and not have our Pipeline Hitter of the Year on it, right? He hit his way from Double- to Triple-A and then up to the big leagues and more than held his own in 34 games. He’ll be in the starting lineup from Day 1 with a chance to take the American League by storm.

- Advertisement -

Red Sox: Triston Casas, 1B (No. 2/MLB No. 25)
Casas gave a preview of coming attractions in September, when he flashed his power and patience with five homers and 19 walks in 27 games, and he’ll improve upon his .197 batting average in the future. The 2018 first-rounder from a Florida high school stands out most with his pop, but his hitting ability, approach and defense are also impressive

Yankees: Anthony Volpe, SS (No. 1/MLB No. 5)
Volpe became the first Minor Leaguer with 20 homers and 50 steals in a season since Andruw Jones in 1995, and he batted .249/.342/.460 between Double-A and Triple-A at age 21. His baseball IQ is as impressive as his tools, and he could slide into the Yankees’ lineup at either shortstop or second base.

Rays: Curtis Mead, INF (No. 2/MLB No. 35)
Between the Australia native and Taj Bradley, the Rays boast two potential Rookie of the Year candidates. We’ll lean toward the everyday player here in Mead, a career .306 hitter in the Minors who has started to show more power with each coming year. The difficulty might come in finding him a spot; Mead played mostly second and third last year and has mixed in some first in the past. He’ll hit enough to play anywhere, and the Rays will want that bat in the lineup before long.

Blue Jays: Yosver Zulueta, RHP (No. 5)
The 24-year-old right-hander certainly had the stuff to appear in the Majors last year and would have done so, perhaps, if shoulder and knee issues didn’t shut him down for most of August. His upper-90s fastball remains a plus-plus pitch, while his curve, slider and change all flash above average. Despite that mix, Zulueta’s injury concerns likely mean he’s headed for the bullpen, but he could dominate…

Read More: Rookie of the Year candidates 2023 2022-11-22 15:12:19

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments