This post will kick off the award series at Beyond the Box Score, highlighting our writing staff’s collective two picks for Rookie of the Year.
American League Rookie of the Year: Yordan Alvarez, DH, Houston Astros
Our writing staff’s only unanimous pick in any award, the honor was well-deserved for Yordan Alvarez.
Alvarez started his 2019 campaign placing in the lineup of the Round Rock Express. His first 56 games of the season were played in Triple-A, where he lit the Pacific Coast League on fire, slashing an unbelievable .343/.443/.742, hitting 23 home runs. Juiced ball or not, Alvarez was having an extremely impressive season that shot his prospect status up the boards.
It was only a matter of time until he was called up and when he was, he did not fail to live up to the expectations. His first impression with the major league club could have not gone any better, as he slashed .381/.519/.952 throughout his first week in the majors. He remained incredibly consistent throughout the rest of the season, putting up a 193 wRC+ in June, a 177 wRC+ in July, a 180 wRC+ in August, and a 164 wRC+ in September.
The only rookie in the history of baseball with more plate appearances and a higher wRC+ than Yordan Alvarez is Joe Jackson.— Beyond the Box Score (@BtBScore) November 11, 2019
Any value that Alvarez put up was with the bat (+34.8 offensive runs), only playing a total of 10 games in the field, all in left field (-8.5 defensive runs), while also not being worth much on the base paths (-1.8 runs).
From a strictly offensive perspective, Yordan Alvarez had one of the most impressive seasons for a rookie in the history of baseball. At only 22 years old, he’ll look to establish himself as one of baseball’s next great hitters during the next few seasons.
National League Rookie of the Year: Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets
A near unanimous pick, Pete Alonso’s debut season was nothing short of amazing.
Leading the majors in home runs (the year the league-wide home run record was broken), breaking the Mets’ franchise record for home runs, representing the Mets in the All-Star Game, and winning an unforgettable Home Run Derby.
Much was made about the Mets gaming the service time of Alonso (such is 21st century baseball), not giving him a deserved look towards the end of the 2018 season, but they rightfully gave him a spot in the Opening Day lineup at first base, a spot he more than earned.
Alonso led all major league first baseman in home runs, SLG, ISO, wRC+, and fWAR. He blew past the expectations of his much anticipated debut and never slowed down.
Baseball fans should be looking forward to the very easy to root for Alonso ranking near the tops of the home run leaderboards year-in and year-out.
Come back here tomorrow to check out who we picked for the Cy Young awards!